Skrillex (aka Sonny Moore) has returned with his fifth single in less than a month: the sharp and dynamic ‘Xena’, for which he linked up with Palestinian singer and composer Nai Barghouti.
The song itself has long held a near-mythical status with Moore’s fanbase, as the EDM titan first performed an early version of it in 2017. The final version keeps intact the ID’s idiosyncratic drops – defined by swift assaults of jagged, percussive clacks and swooping bass – but enhances the build-ups that frame them with ethereal vocals from Barghouti.
It also features a handful of the same samples used in the Fred Again and Flowdan joint ‘Rumble’ – the first single Moore dropped last month – implying that both tracks will be linked in some way on a longform project.
Have a listen to ‘Xena’ below:
‘Xena’ is expected to appear on one of Moore’s two forthcoming Skrillex albums, both of which are set for release later this year. Neither follow-up to 2014’s ‘Recess’ have been formally detailed, but as Moore teased at the start of 2023, they’re both imminent. One’s title appears to have the initials ‘DGTC’ (which might stand for ‘Don’t Get Too Close’) while the other has the initials ‘QFF’.
Thus far, Moore has released a cumulative nine singles from the joint projects, starting with four in 2021: ‘Butterflies’ with Four Tet and Starrah; ‘Too Bizarre’ with Swae Lee and Siiickbrain; ‘Supersonic (My Existence)’ with Noisia, Josh Pan and 100 Gecs‘ Dylan Brady; and ‘Don’t Go’ with Justin Bieber and Don Toliver.
Just a day after returning with ‘Rumble’ on January 4 – later revealing that he kicked Four Tet off its original demo – Moore shared ‘Way Back’, a collaboration with PinkPantheress and Trippie Redd. He followed those up later in January with ‘Leave Me Like This’ (a joint effort with Bobby Raps) and ‘Real Spring’ (with Bladee).
More unreleased music was teased at Moore’s three secret shows in London alongside Fred Again. Meanwhile, the artist revealed in January that his recent absence from music came down to 2022 being “the toughest year of my life”, during which he felt “no drive and purpose for the first time”.