Single Review: XHOANA X – ‘Deepest Pleasure’.

Balls-out femme-fatale sass against slutdrop electro might not be a baby milk formula, but it’s an adult pop blast with finesse. Heart felt contempt, ownership of self, violence and a poised over-confidence… If we weren’t talking XHOANA X you might think of Nick Cave’s ‘Murder Ballads’.

But that’s been consigned to its decade. Those games have since opened to everyone. This is ‘I Will Survive’ if the stakes were perverse with verse sung by a vengeful detractor.

‘Deepest Pleasure’ is pleasurably seductive, its slick mounds of soft industrial synths are a draw-in as much as a warning. Bass and drums gurgle just as much as they pulse while they throb through its ominous underbelly, with vampiric shades of deep red hanging over house twitches of stripped R&B. Think of a crueller older sister to Porcelain with a lean towards a Mz Neon crudeness.  

Self-proclaimed as ‘that bitch’ for this track, with a pristine David Lynch gothic image, this is a character led electro pop ballad, sexually loaded and graphic. “So open wide and stay awhile/ Won’t you / The deepest pleasure/ It will be/ To cut you.” If these words weren’t so drenched in a black syrup gloss they’d be mean, unrefined, unappealing. As it is there’s a lure of wry smile domination that’s aware of its dare and its presence.

Add in hints of self-gratification, and an ego that fills all available space between pulses and warped electronics, and we have a single that’s slyly engulfing, that touches our tangible dark sides. It might not be as blunt or as brutal as those who excel in the hard games of powerplay, but it wins as a seedy flick freakout; flirtatious, unnerving, and sultry.