"If you can do a love story and not make it a f—ing cliché, I think you're good."
That was model and actress Dree Hemingway speaking from her porch in Los Angeles on Thursday morning. She was referring to the band XYLØ and their debut music video for their single "America," in which she stars.
Hemingway has known vocalist Paige Duddy, 21, and her brother, drummer/songwriter Chase, for some time; Chase's wife is her cousin. The XYLØ siblings, who are ten years apart, only started making music together in 2014. The name of their band refers to the license plate of their xylophone-playing grandfather, which he customized in the '70s when vanity plates first became available.
Today, they keep music in the family with their own "dark pop" sound.
"It was fun to f—ck around with friends," said Hemingway about shooting the video in her mother's L.A. home, "But we're also really serious about what we do. It was funny to go from hanging with your friends to like, 'Action!'"
Duddy wrote the single after her boyfriend was forced to leave America for England. "It's about a country that's forcing people apart though immigration policy," she said. She emphasized, however, it's not a political commentary (it was written almost two years ago), but more of a reflection on forbidden love. Eventually, the boyfriend got his visa and he now collaborates with the band frequently.
As for Hemingway, she sites Sigur Rós' video for "Leaning Towards Solace" as one of her favorites, but "Kissing You," performed by Des'Ree in Romeo and Juliet, is the romantic number that gets her every time.
"If I want to cry on command, I'll listen to that," she said.
Watch an exclusive premiere of XYLØ's "America" directed by Riley Harperbelow.