Continuing our double bill of the two Swedish artists (read about Tove Lo’s contribution here) on the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 soundtrack, we’ve arrived with newcomer XOV. We wrote about Boys Don’t Cry a couple of weeks ago, and while we weren’t enormous fans, we could certainly see potential. And it’s good to see that XOV has lived up to his potential with Animal. Comparisons with The Weeknd are inevitable but that’s not a bad thing (if we gloss over the rampant accusations of misogyny for the latter, anyway). This is a bold piece of groovy R&B and can only do stellar things for XOV’s budding career.
Tove Lo has had a pretty incredible year, with Habits riding high in charts all over the place – including the UK and US – and now featuring on the Lorde-curated soundtrack-of-the-year The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that fellow Swedes Icona Pop were experiencing similar levels of success only to struggle to match it after I Love It, but it’s looking like Tove might manage it. So what of Scream My Name? Fittingly, it’s a song that ponders legacy in typical Tove style: a massive chorus, a defiant attitude and even a little “oh-oh” every now and then that recalls Habits. It’s perfectly matched to the character of Katniss Everdeen and a highlight (amongst many) of the Mockingjay soundtrack.
It’s only Wednesday but we’d wager that XOV is having a pretty good week. Within hours of each other he unveiled his debut single, the smooth R&B of Boys Don’t Cry, and was also revealed to be part of the undeniably cool Lorde-curated soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 with Animal. Not bad. XOV is Stockholmer Damian Ardestani and he doesn’t sound a world away from the likes of Autre Ne Veut, The Weeknd, How To Dress Well et al. We have to admit to being more intrigued by him at this stage than fully-fledged converts, but will certainly be awaiting Animal with interest.