‘Do Not Disturb’ by Xavier Omär

— Nix Thérèse

‘Do Not Disturb’ is, unsurprisingly, the pool I fall into when I want to dodge the world. Omär’s beautiful pitch barrels across an ever-transforming soundscape: beginning in a piano riff that you’ll be hard pressed to not twerk, whine, or rock to, and transitioning to the chorus with deep, drawn out “ooooh’s” that bury deep into the chest after every admission hits the air. Given that the speaker is indicting himself for absence that is somewhat unintentional but no less harmful, the entire mood shifts to one of confession that straddles both the vulnerable and confident-to-cocky modes. The refrain of “don’t know where I’ve been” is a front worth indulging: even if the speaker isn’t readily open to sharing the details of everything he’s entertained, he knows the adventures that filled this break. Yet wanting to reorient himself to the northern star that is the Beloved feels purposeful & personal. The outside goals and engagements fall away when the speaker willingly goes ghost, unreachable to anyone but the you. This is one piece in his oeuvre that always leaves me curious about the addressee. Personally, I would be relieved at the upfront accountability, but how can she hold him to the almost impeccable standards he’s set up for himself? “I’m more than a friend now, baby” particularly makes me wonder how she sustains herself on the other side of these barriers. More than that, does confessional become moot when it lands well in the audience that’s likely separate from whom he’s trying to woo? Omär wraps all these nuances of desire and connection into a long bow that’s waiting to be peeled back.