Xelli Island delivers empowering dream-pop anthem “Sometimes”

Listen to Xelli Island‘s new track “Sometimes” before its official release tomorrow.

Playful synths give off a summery vibe, but it quickly becomes clear that “Sometimes” isn’t a track filled with sunshine and a pleasant breeze. Los Angeles-based singer Xelli Island (Lianna Vanicelli) takes to lighthearted ooh-ooh-oohs to grapple with a serious topic, and she doesn’t package her thoughts in any metaphorical bubble wrap. Her message is powerful precisely because she states it so plainly: depression can turn our perception upside down. We’ve all felt the crushing weight of something that brought us joy just the day before, and we’ve all had moments when we wished we could simply sign out.

“The world we live in is corrupt,” she stated. “That’s obviously no surprise. When you are struggling with mental health, this world becomes even uglier and more challenging to navigate. All of its toxicity and phoniness become crystal clear. This is a song about just that.”

It’s not Vanicelli‘s first time using a catchy tune as a platform to open up about mental health. Her first single “Fucking Retrograde” deals with frustration and mood swings tied to mercury being in retrograde, but “Sometimes” strikes a more serious note despite retaining the dreamy tinge characteristic of its two predecessors. The song stems from a tumultuous period that followed the musician’s relocation from Detroit to LA, or as she puts it: “I wrote it after going through some unexpected, major changes in my life that left me feeling hopeless. I wanted to convey that everyone is struggling in some way, no matter how together they seem to have it.”

With its lively highs and a darker undertow looming underneath, “Sometimes” is one of those tracks that you want to blast in your headphones when feeling a bit under the weather. Chances are it will brighten your day and help you power through.

Natálie Zehnalová