THE SPILL MAGAZINE ARTIST PORTRAIT:
Some of our most enduring rock and roll is built upon the following truth: Sometimes you have to replant yourself to find your roots. Nearly a decade ago, three of the four young members of Ithaca, New York, quartet X Ambassadors left home with great ambition, vowing not to look back. Like so many small-town kids before them, they yearned to find fame and fortune in the city. They wanted, as they confess in one of their most powerful new songs, to “go big.” And after years of hustling and overcoming personal challenges, rock stardom felt imminent. But something was missing. Some bands never get that missing piece back, but the potentially great ones go looking for it. More often than not, the search leads them right back home. X Ambassadors’ stomping, syncopated full-length debut, VHS, is all about that exploration. Ironically it proved to be a journey — as the antiquated technology name-checked in the album’s title indicates — through the past.