13XL’s ‘Q_Q’ EP rips up convention with punk-tinged nihilism

An essential compound of ice-cold melodies and cut-throat synths...

17.01.20, Words by: Billy Ward

Oozing from the grimy underbelly of South London’s secret party scene, 13XL have distanced themselves from the status quo through their moody blend of emo-trap and punk-tinged guitar music.

Having previously produced a small collection of underground hits including the tranquillising ‘Frosty Tips’, which made it into our 50 Best Tracks of 2019 list, the cloak-and-dagger duo of Scott Bowley and Xena Hussain have now dropped their debut EP ‘Q_Q’.

Extracting the spirit of sad boi indie and melancholic trap-soul, the new six-track project released via MOVES is an essential compound of ice-cold melodies and cut-throat synths, providing an accomplished body of work that balances gloomy turn-up trap anthems and pacifying auto-tune ballads to a T.

An ideal soundtrack for the cold winter months, the duo secured a cameo from rising scene rapper Virgil Hawkins on ‘Forever’. Known for shutting down sets such as his 2018 Boiler Room, the lyricist’s infectious bars resonate through a series of crunching filters, adding a new dimension to the group’s multi-faceted sound.

One of the standout tracks on the project ‘Show You The World and Show You How It Spins’ offers a narcotic glimpse into why the pair have amassed a cult following, with the accompanying video showing a small glance into their coveted underground basement shows.

Stream ‘Q_Q’ now:

Read next: 13XL throw caution to the wind in the visuals for ‘Love & Guap’

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