Intense, exhilarating, hypnotizing, impassioned, raw, cheeky, and vulnerable … all really accurate ways to describe falling in love for the first time. Certainly many of us can relate to having experienced those exciting and confusing emotions that get when you’re head over heels for someone, especially when you’re young and trying to understand who you are and what you really like. Memories of your first touch, your first kiss, the first time you went back home together, are forever engraved in your brain. Flashbacks of the times you snuck around to meet, the times you cuddled in bed, or showered together seem to never fade. And all of a sudden, when it’s over, you find yourself trying to replace them but you incidentally end up breaking your heart more than once in the quest for finding that rush you once felt. This is exactly what up-and-coming artist Xana’s new single “Kitchen Light” is about.
Following the line of queer pop royalty, Xana channels her inner FLETCHER and Halsey and presents an incredibly relatable song that recounts the story of the first time she fell in love with a woman. Xana perfectly encapsulates the amusing and thrilling sensation of jumping into your first queer relationship contrasted by the messiness of having to maintain things “on the low” while you figure out what’s really happening in your head and your heart.
Mirroring the push-and-pull nature of a relationship like this, the song generates constant tension thanks to way she uses syncopation to match specific words to the ’80s-inspired beat. As the track progresses, the synths in the background become louder and the multiple harmonies start coming in to match the intensity of the lyrics. The immaculately placed breaks also add to the buildup as we climax with a multitude of confessional moments.
What really makes the track special is the willingness to share every detail and create images that vibrantly capture the attention of the listener. From the very beginning, Xana says, “we stumble inside [her house], we didn’t even make it past the kitchen light,” which puts it right in your face that the physical attraction was there. Then she follows it up with the idea that even though it seems innocently reciprocated since “everything sweet comes with a warning.” Additionally, the complications of not being out are unavoidably addressed with very tasteful lines like “don’t tell my mother we sleep without clothes under my covers.”
“I tried to move on but it never seemed right / and I broke my own heart a few fucking times. / I know it ain’t fair to somebody new / can’t let go of that love I still have for you” just wraps it all together as Xana realizes (just like all of us have) that a broken heart is bound to hurt more than one person in the path to acceptance.
Produced by Shane Stephenson from Canadian production collective Listening Party Recordings, “Kitchen Light” just shows how Xana is getting ready to take over the world as the fresh queer pop queen she is proving to be.