New York-based singer-songwriter Xondra is flexing her storytelling chops with her latest exciting EP, Tedious & Brief. A release described as being filled with emotional intensity and introspective songwriting, taking on the heavy themes of being a woman surviving in a man’s world. The EP’s description alone should be enough to garner intrigue.
Writing this EP helped me mourn the versions of myself I can never get back to. As a survivor, I am not the same person I was before I had certain experiences. I have had to make peace with my pain and give myself the space and time to rebuild myself from the ground up.
I love who I am now. I am stronger, kinder, and more full of life now than I have ever been. Writing Tedious & Brief helped me find my light again and reignite it after thinking for the longest time that it might be gone for good. I hope it can serve as a reminder to send love to all past and present versions of you. May we all continue to move forward and heal the parts of ourselves that are still hurting.Xondra on creating her latest EP, Tedious & Brief
But does Xondra’s new EP Tedious & Brief manage to accomplish its message of sending love to all versions of yourself? Or will listeners fail to grasp Xondra’s hard-hitting message? Let’s find out.
“I feel more at peace/with the strangers I’ll meet than with you.” Finding a genuine smile among the fake backdrops of life is never easy, but Xondra perfectly conveys her journey toward the sunlight in “Tedious.”
A journey with its ups and downs, rainy days, and broken promises. “Tedious” is subtle instrumentally, but the slow nature of the track’s instrumentation helps Xondra’s sensational vocals reach new heights through listeners’ heartstrings.
Lyrically, “Tedious” is perfection. The realism within Xondra’s words helps to paint her struggles perfectly in a sweet and heartbreaking package for the ears. As someone who struggles to find a smile in the dark, I found myself constantly singing, “I’m going to try,” over and over throughout my day. I’m sure listeners will be doing the same.
“We try to assign meaning/but no one cares what you’re feeling,” Xondra continues to hold no punches as “Brief” breaks the mold of today’s fairytale “everything’s alright” mentality when it comes to modern music. Instead, telling the story of broken emotions and the hope that might come when finally cutting strings with what’s holding you back.
The adverse effects of humanity’s lack of compassion are front and center. “Brief” is hands down one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year; it’s natural, beautiful, and personal storytelling at its finest.
Continuing with minimal instrumentation, Xondra’s control of her vocal range is exciting as her raw melodies break down walls many refuse to acknowledge. “Brief” is a track I’ll most likely be returning to, especially with a runtime of less than two minutes; there is no filler when it comes to this track.
Exploding with emotional glory, “Waterworks” takes the cake as my favorite track off of Tedious & Brief; it has it all! Emotional exposition that will break the meanest heart, eye-opening revelations, and an abusive tale that will get listeners fired up and rightfully pissed off.
Lyrically, “Waterworks” is Xondra at her best, creating a narrative out of relatable despair; “will I stay down this time/or get back up out of spite?” Each lyrical string and corresponding musical note is pure bliss. Showcasing the art of being vulnerable and fired up, creating the perfect fusion for a personal revolution.
“Waterworks” can only get better in a live setting; the emotional weight, fired-up voices, and surrounding support, this track should have it all, with glaring lights just intensifying the experience.
“Inner Child” mixes the subtle charm of “Brief” and the intense nature of “Waterworks” perfectly, creating a new form of pop-rock that’s striking, sharp, and filled with truthful angst that’s highly relatable and should have zero issues getting the attention of listeners as they quickly sing back lyric for lyric.
Coming off as an invasion into the inner thoughts of Xondra, “Inner Child” fully showcases Xondra’s ability to become the best version of herself for herself, with no substitutions, no matter what her remedies might be.
“Inner Child” is the work of a soul who has been broken, put through the wringer, yet still has found something to live for and has weaponized her pain for emotional gain. I continue to be impressed by her honest and revealing work.
Can I be any more pissed off? “Dead Girl” pissed me right off. But probably not for the reasons some of you might think. As a guy simply looking through a window I’ll never understand, this track broke me in more ways than I can count.
As a guy who tries his best to ensure women can feel safe around me, it pisses me off knowing that not every guy is like me. The themes presented throughout “Dead Girl” happen every day, a lot that goes unnoticed and a lot that should make other men squirm in their skin, yet it is also a feeling society doesn’t agree with most of the time, and it’s a damn shame.
The reality in “Dead Girl” is fantastic and ties with “Waterworks” as a true highlight of Tedious & Brief. The brutal reality of “Dead Girl” keeps things fresh and showcases the mental gymnastics some face just wanting to leave the house.
Instrumentally, “Dead Girl” is one of the best tracks I’ve heard all year and achieves making my inner emotions boil more than they did when crying my eyes out to FLETCHER’s heartbreaking “About You.” The pairing of Xondra’s memorable vocal melodies with the folk stylings of the track’s instrumentation worked together perfectly to create a thought-provoking atmosphere that will stay with me always.
“Life Force” wraps up the heavy themes of Tedious & Brief perfectly while also making listeners hang on a string wanting more. Putting it all on the table is never easy, but Xondra proves our struggles are the best inspiration most days, though it might hurt along the way.
“Life Force” brings the EP’s tone back to the subtle levels we started with during “Tedious” and “Brief” to bookend a self-reflecting soundscape of emotion instrumentally. “Life Force,” paired with the broken feelings of “Dead Girl,” brought me to tears. A cathartic experience that I’ll never forget.
I leave “Life Force” the same way I started with “Tedious,” singing to myself, “that’s what I tell myself.”
Tedious & Brief is heartbreaking, emotionally heavy, and real. No release I’ve listened to this year has been as eye-opening as Xondra’s latest EP and has made me feel a rainbow of emotions as this release; I felt broken, lost, and pissed to the ends of the earth, and it did have me take a look at the versions of myself I love and hate, to come to the ultimate conclusion that it’s still me. All of it.
Xondra’s new EP, Tedious & Brief, is worth the listen, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for listeners next. Hopefully, my heart will be bandaged up enough to take the next potential beating.
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Stream Xondra’s emotionally heavy EP, Tedious & Brief, on Spotify & Apple Music