Apparently she’s only 22, but if you listen to her sing you know her soul is at least 102 years old. Xochitl (which is her real name, pronounced So-chee) performed last night at Woodstock’s Pizza in Davis, a newcomer to the scene of local music venues. Xochitl is no newcomer, though, having been nominated for Best Folk Rock in Sacramento’s Sammie Awards in 2013. Her set was not nearly long enough, and it must be tough to play in a restaurant where most of the people there didn’t even know there was a performance happening that night. At one point a table of rowdy drinkers suddenly started yelling and waving at their friend who was taking a video (presumably to send on Snapchat to some other loud, obnoxious friend of theirs). Xochitl didn’t skip a beat, though, playing right through the noise and continuing to bless our ears with her soulful siren song.
As with any great performance of this kind, the set was a mix of covers and originals, including some Britney Spears and Beatles. It’s important to play some songs that people know, allowing us to follow along with the melody. This allows the listener to appreciate the nuances of making the song one’s own, which Xochitl does with her Beatles cover below. It’s a ballsy move to cover what’s known as a rock band, but is also probably the greatest folk rock band in history. Xochitl not only pulls off the cover, her smile emanating through the speakers, carried by her sunshine voice, but also makes it her own, playing it to her strengths, not just copying the strengths of Ringo, Paul, John and George.
Xochitl’s originals were absolutely the best part of the show, which is something that does not come easily. These are the songs that immediately identify her as a songwriter, these are the songs that let you know she’s standing up there bearing her soul, if you care to listen. It means something special, too, when you feel like if you were a fly on the wall in her bedroom listening to her practice strumming that guitar, that you’d get the same heartfelt, soulful performance with no one else there watching. That connection is what this type of music is all about. Her YouTube channel is one that I could get lost in, and probably will soon after I finish posting this. “Wanted”, “To Begin” and “Bring Me To You” are my favorites, “Bring Me To You” is embedded below.
Of course, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @xochitlofficial, and I strongly suggest you do if you feel like listening to something good put out into the world. And I don’t mean good as in decent, because she’s amazing talent-wise. What I mean is that her music puts good out into the universe, and in this frightening day and age that’s something that should not be underestimated.