Week in Pop: xCephasx, Krystle Warren, QOQO ROBOQS

Sjimon Gompers

The persistence & ever-evolving proliferation of Vancouver's xCephasx, oka Cephas Munga; photographed by Mescondi, aka Conor Cunningham.


Escalator moves with Drinker; photographed by Lincoln Lute.

NY by LA coast bouncing duo Drinker just released their Happy Accident EP & present an exclusive track-by-track break-down courtesy of vocalist/frontman Aaron Mendelsohn. Formerly of Isadora, collaborating with Ariel Loh (previously of Stone Cold Fox) make hypnotic ballads that croon & echo with pensive & passionate emotions that resemble those long rides at nights when one is left in the library of thoughts.

“Dog Years” collects disparate parts & hearts together in a kindred congress. Feigned affections are exchanged for something more real in the “Fake It” until you make it that stretches beyond the faux veil for something meaningful amid an expressive menagerie of thoughtful keys & bubbling rhythms. Excercises in wading through quicksand & other short stories are entertained on “Sinking / Feeling”, right before the band plays a game of spin the compass on the finale number of “Which Way Is South” where Drinker’s musical motif of thoughtful moods continues to traverse from coast to coast as the EP closes with our heroes wandering toward directions unknown.

Drinker’s Aaron Mendelsohn introduced the the EP for song for song with the following exclusive breakdown:

“Dog Years”

“Dog Years” was the first song we did. I had written the lyrics that make up the chorus—”I’m learning that the way I tried for you / was nothing new to you…”—prior to linking up with Ariel but they had never found a home. Across the EP, the choruses and verses do seem very compartmentalized lyrically, as if they’re units unto themselves. The real work and the collaboration between Ariel and myself was about making these scattered thoughts coherent to the point that you listen and it feels like the parts all need each other to make up the whole.

“Fake It”

“Fake It”, which is track two on the EP, was the first thing we started work on in the longer sessions that followed “Dog Years”. Our process was becoming more trusting and I had this demo but was decidedly not tied to the vibe. It was just these are the chords and the lyrics, let’s tear it down and build it back up…with synths and samples.

The message in the song is about finding your path and following through with what you say you’re going to do. Sometimes the way things stack up against a musician can be rough, so you have to stay true to something and feel grounded in your plan.

“Sinking / Feeling”

“Sinking / Feeling” is the most direct reflection among the songs on the EP on my life and moving to California, after years in NYC. The whole EP was mainly written with the knowledge that I was going to be leaving once we finished it. But knowing it and really understanding it are two different things, and this song is kind of about that lack of a grasp on reality as you make big decisions in your life.

The term “Happy Accident” was something we were throwing around a lot during the recording process where something would fall into place without intention. The most prime example of that on the EP is in the bridge of “Sinking / Feeling”, the way the chords and melody fell together.

“Which Way Is South

“Which Way Is South” was something I pulled out of the folder of unfinished songs in the past. Through trial and error we were able to spin it in a way we thought really fit the vibe of the EP and the developing sound of Drinker. It felt good as the first single because it felt like a good representation of the sound. Also, the opening lyric floating on breezes we’re just getting going felt like a good way to kick it off.

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