Li Xi, “Pluto”

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Li Xi is a name you’ll want to get familiar with—the San Francisco four-piece are making irresistible sounds. They dropped their first EP in January, a sunny mix of psychedelia and electropop. Now they’re about to release their first full-length, Meet Me Somewhere, and the latest track from the album propels them beyond the gorgeously meandering tunes of the EP toward a more intense and dynamic pop sound.

“Pluto” is dreamy and nostalgic, but it’s also anything but predictable. It operates in shifts, cycling the listener through dynamic changes and instrumental rearrangements. At the song’s quieter moments, it calls to mind the likes of Veronica Falls, with the interrupted strum of an an acoustic guitar and Maryann Tran’s airy vocals flanked by James Vernon‘s soft harmonies. There are moments of silence and near-silence—and then at its loudest, it’s a twinkling, sunshine pop-inspired explosion of sound, with surf guitars, wordless vocal coos, and a driving bassline. Lyrics that blend this easily into the music might run the risk of getting swallowed up, but not for Li Xi—it’s hard not to wonder at the implications of plainly written but cogent lines like “waiting there planning your next move, with a downpour on the forecast” and the drawn-out “several days behind” in the refrain. Li Xi have woven a sound that’s fresh and futuristic from various old threads, and the result is really delightful.

Meet Me Somewhere will be self-released this Tuesday, October 14.