XANA – Single Review: “Poison”

There are two things that consistently excite me about the Saskatchewan music scene: the diversity of styles and the pervasive hustle. As a member of Regina’s Trifecta artist collective, XANA embodies both of those things. Her music delivers a high-fidelity pop sound (produced by Jared Robinson of Nebulus Entertainment) that punches well above its local weight class and would sound at home either on contemporary pop radio or blasted in a club. Paired with an ever-developing lyrical imprint and impassioned vocal stylings, this song (and no doubt the rest of what’s to come from XANA ) is the perfect fuel for the music industry movers and shakers that make up Trifecta.

“Poison,” the second single from Regina-based pop singer Xana, explores our self destructive human tendencies and our goddess-given right to make our own damn mistakes. The lyrics tell a story of being unable (or perhaps unwilling) to separate oneself from a relationship that is obviously toxic, knowing full well it’s a mistake and choosing to make it anyway. It hints at rite of passage and coming of age by celebrating the recklessness of youth.

But for all its apparent foolishness, the song’s strength comes from its universality, self-awareness, and acceptance. I challenge anyone to tell me they haven’t found themselves lusting after the things that hurt them. That they haven’t made mistakes knowing full well that they were, in fact, mistakes. In “Poison,” XANA tells a story that we’ve all read AND wrote.

The production and composition of the tack nods to musical powerhouses like Lorde or Paramore without ripping them off, while striving for the pump and polish of a Top-40 hit. In a local music scene with a history of devil-may-care punk aesthetic and anything-goes indie philosophies, the unabashedly, though not necessarily shallow, pop sensibilities of this track are (surprisingly) a breath of fresh air. It’s not often that music of this ilk exists as an outlier, but Xana’s work just goes to show that anything is possible in the Saskatchewan music scene. Next time a Top-40 pop fan says there’s no music they like being made in Saskatchewan, I’ll point them to XANA.

“Poison” is available for download and streaming on all major music platforms.

By Dana Rempel

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