The very first time I heard X Ambassadors, I was hooked. Well, it wasn’t exactly just the band: my first encounter with their music was on the electronic-collaboration between them and Zedd called “Transmission”. Vocalist Sam Harris’ hook in the track completely drew me in, and I was eager to hear the band’s own material.
It’s now June, and X Ambassadors have just released their debut album, entitled VHS. The name is a clever play on the interludes that occur throughout the film. Whether the sound snippets are real or not, the album includes several breaks that give glimpses into the lives of the band members, all the way from childhood to the current rise of the band (correct me if I’m wrong guys, just send me an email).
This was a GREAT debut album. The production and pacing of the record is fantastic. A few songs, then an interlude. Few songs, interlude. The songs are spaced out enough that you’re able to take in all that they have to offer, and then give yourself a little break to take it all in. “Renegades” is the perfect introduction. It gives you an indication into the band’s musicianship and Harris’ vocal abilities.
Things only go up with tracks like the sampler-heavy “Hang On” and “Nervous”. The vocals continue to shine throughout. The standout track is “B.I.G.”, the only track with a bit of hip-hop flair on the album and the one that initially made me nervous when it started. I feared for the worse, but was greatly surprised at the composition. The album closes with the upbeat “Naked” and an outro clip, as the sound of the VHS player we hear throughout comes to a stop.
All I’m going to say is this: if X Ambassadors are not playing Main Stage at Coachella next year, someone at AEG/Goldenvoice will be hearing from me. These guys could very well be the next big thing, so catch them now before they’re selling out arenas and amphitheaters and you’re stuck all the way in the back thinking, “damn, why didn’t I see them at that small club when they came through town last year?”
This has been another Shameless Promotion.