To call Xenia Rubinos’ music “fusion” would be technically correct, but that word bears the bland connotations of entities like P.F. Chang’s calling their uninspired dishes “fusion” to make them seem more “exotic.” No, Rubinos serves up a Michelin-star meal: The Brooklyn artist truly crosses borders with her multi-genre-hyphenate instrumental textures beneath Billie Holiday-esque croons. This is a voice smooth like caramel with a bite like pepper, and carries Rubinos’ newest single, “Lonely Lover,” over a swinging staccato bass line. On writing the song, off her forthcoming sophomore LP Black Terry Cat, she tells SPIN:
Black Terry Cat is a #browngirlmagic carpet ride powered by deep pocket backbeats and funky bass lines. “Lonely Lover” is the first full song I finished for the album — it was a real breakthrough where I felt like I’d created my own sound, and became kind of my mantra for making the rest of the album. I was listening to a lot of R&B, hip hop, rap, digging into black culture in America as well as the Afro Latin diaspora which I’m a part of.
Check out “Lonely Lover” below, and Black Terry Cat when it comes out June 3 via ANTI-.