Ask Xani Kolac to describe her latest batch of songs for her debut solo project, XANI, and she’ll tell you that there are “songs about being needy and songs that are downright depressing”. These are not words that spring to mind when one encounters electric violinist, Xani, onstage or off. Being a naturally energetic and bubbly performer, Kolac toes the line in her songwriting perfectly between being “happy but kind of sad”. Given that her country, eccentric pop and old school R&B influences jump the genre-ship to include Camille, Raphael Saadiq, Bjork, and, um… Whitney Houston; it is no surprise that her taste for a melancholy tune, has more than a hankering to satisfy a sweet-tooth.
XANI’s debut EP, simply titled, “1”, will be released on April 14th. 2017 – Good Friday and the day that Xani celebrates another birthday. Recorded and mixed by Marty Brown (Clare Bowditch), “1” becomes four tracks laid thick with country guitar and crooning backing vocals with Kolac’s own trademark strings that shimmer and soar throughout. “1” nurses the heavy heart with a heaped plate of honey roll.
Having sung and played violin for just under a decade with her drums/violin duo, The Twoks, Xani Kolac is well known to the Melbourne music scene, lending her incisive attack to artists and bands such as Clare Bowditch, Tim Rogers, My Friend the Chocolate Cake and Martin Martini & the Bone Palace Orchestra and has performed with Kav Temperley on RocKwiz shredding all over Bob Dylan’s, Hurricane.
Outside of Melbourne, Xani recently attended the Americana Fest in Nashville where she took fiddle lessons from the legendary Buddy Spicher, who recorded with the likes of Ray Charles and Elvis Presley. She has written songs in the Rocky Mountains in Banff, played in New York City and at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Xani seems happiest on stage bounding around with unrelenting fiery energy, which she will soon be harnessing into a different discipline, as she edges closer to getting her black belt in Taekwondo! It seems there are no limits for this AU Review Best Live Instrumentalist nominee, as 2017 marks the beginning of a solo career and a massive year of shows, collaborations, dalliances with the Melbourne Americana music scene and, she says, “avoiding going to America”… but that’s another story.
“Xani Kolac does things with a violin that set her apart from just about any other violin player on the planet.” Owen McKern, RRR RadioThon Edition, 2012