Xylouris White is the unlikely-seeming duo of George Xylouris, a virtuoso lute player from a tiny village on the Greek isle of Crete, and Jim White, an equally masterly Australian drummer who began his career with the great post-rock band the Dirty Three and went on to back the likes of Cat Power and P.J. Harvey. (Most recently, you can hear him manning the kit on Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s casually lovely new collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice.)
The duo has released two very good albums of exploratory folk-inflected compositions so far–2014’s mostly instrumental Goats and last year’s more song-oriented Black Peak–and in January they’ll return with a third album called Mother. (Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, who produced Black Peak, also helmed the new record.) This week, they released “Only Love,” the first single, which is the most outwardly punkish thing they’ve ever written, built around a buzzing lute riff and thunderously simple drumming.
Mother is out January 19th via Bella Union. Hear “Only Love” below, and read SPIN’s 2016 feature on Xylouris White here.