Today’s Song: Detachment and Intimacy on RXC’s Dark “Sleep”

Sleep - RXC
Recommended If You Like: CAPPA, MAALA, Lorde

I’m running, running, before I go and start saying something too late, I know

There’s a price to pay for living life in the fast lane: The world and everything within fly past you. They’re close enough to taste, but too far away to embrace. RXC’s new single “Sleep” is a fever dream of epic proportions, a dark lament for a life and love left behind as the artist keeps her head forward and braced for impact.

Listen: “Sleep” – RXC

Sleep - RXC

Sleep – RXC

Independent singer/songwriter/producer RXC crafts impeccably fragile, yet definitively bombastic electronic pop from an as-of-yet undetermined basement somewhere in Bristol, UK. The twenty-two year old’s first two singles, “Falling” and “Somebody,” established a predilection for darkness and intimacy; “Falling” is a haunting cry into the open air, whilst “Somebody” is, both symbolically and literally, the artist’s search for herself and understanding.

RXC’s third release to date, “Sleep” captures the artist pivoting from a relationship and dealing with the onslaught of conflicting feelings that result. It is an intense portrayal of fallout, a window into the interplay of individuality and relationships that brings us out into the battlefield, right there next to RXC.

I’m not losing any sleep but,
I know I’m acting strange
Cos you used to give a fuck about me but
Gone are the days
I still see you in the same light
But i’m not sure if you see me at all
Cos i’m hanging on your every word
When there’s nothing much to hold on for

Pulsing synths and dark bass pumps cast an ethereal shadow over the aural landscape as RXC sets the scene. “I wrote the song around the opening line, the artist recently told Purple Melon. “It’s my way of writing about becoming more detached from something that once consumed you.”

RXC seems conflicted about becoming more detached from this once-special someone; it’s easy to run, but harder to hide:

And as the second hand smoke turns my lungs black
I’m chipping my teeth on a wine glass
There’s more to life, now I know that
I know that
RXC

RXC // Facebook

She tries to calm herself, repeating reassuring words that affirm her decision to move on – yet all the while, she is clearly not fully there. Much of RXC’s lyrical brilliance lies in her ability to paint a compelling portrait, without explicitly saying what’s going on. We don’t need to know there are two sides fighting it out within her; we can see that for ourselves as she chips her teeth on a wine glass, still seeing this former beau in the same light despite the fact that “gone are the days.”

There are those who say the relationship ends when two people stop seeing each other, and those who say the relationship ends when two people stop thinking about each other. Perhaps both are true – the first, a tangible existence, the latter, a symbolic representation of the underpinnings upon which a relationship is built. Once those feelings fade, the relationship is truly in the past.

Until then, you might as well be fooling yourself. RXC seems to know she’s in murky, grey territory as she belts her catchy chorus and dives straight into the second verse:

I’m running, running, before I go and start
Saying something too late I know
I was missing all the nights like this
But I miss you when the morning hits
I’m not losing any sleep but
I know I’m wasting time
Trying to prove I’d take a bullet for you
When I put you in the firing line

Unfortunately, this writer knows few entities that exist, other than time itself, that can heal such an open wound. It’s as if RXC were ejected, or perhaps ejected herself, from a fast moving car, and is now trying to catch up to the car’s speed. She’ll never be behind that wheel again; she’ll never drive at that speed, in that seat. But the smoke from the car is still in the air; the dust has yet to settle. RXC is tethered to the past, anchored to her former life, her former self, and her former partner:

And I run right back to you
We two’s a fag in the smoking room
And the ceilings spinning but you hold me still and
Tell me everything’s still cool

RXC seems to slip in and out of certainty on “Sleep,” lucid at points and on auto-pilot at others. The music does much of the talking for her, its intrepid beat echoing the dire nature of RXC’s headspin. She may not be losing any sleep, but she’s still having nightmares.

RXC’s “Sleep” is a fresh, intoxicating journey toward recovery. Take it for a ride, and stay tuned for more from this promising independent artist.

— — — —RXC

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York’s many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch’s words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing.
Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com