Ithaca, New York-based X Ambassadors make passionate, dark, electronic-based pop centered around the throaty, soulful vocals of Sam Harris. Formed in 2009, X Ambassadors also feature Harris’ keyboardist brother Casey Harris, childhood friend/guitarist Noah Feldshuh, and drummer Adam Levin. Originally going by the name Ambassadors, they released a self-titled EP in 2009. To the bandmembers’ surprise, their song “Litoist” garnered online buzz and was eventually put into rotation on Virginia’s 96X radio station. Another song, “Unconsolable,” also drew listeners, and the attention helped score the group a management deal and recording contract.
In 2013, the newly minted X Ambassadors released their sophomore EP, Love Songs Drug Songs, on Interscope. They then joined Imagine Dragons and Jimmy Eat World on tour. The following year, the band received wider exposure when “The Jungle,” a collaboration with Jamie N Commons, was featured in a commercial for Dr. Dre’s electronics/headphones company Beats. On the heels of this success, X Ambassadors released their third EP, The Reason. In 2015 they released their debut full-length, VHS, which featured production from Alex da Kid and included the hit singles “Renegades” and “Unsteady.” The album reached number seven on the Billboard 200 and was re-released as a special edition in 2016 with five additional songs, including an appearance by Tom Morello. That same year, they featured on the Knocks track “Comfortable” and on the double-platinum “Sucker for Pain,” the all-star collaborative effort for the Suicide Squad soundtrack that found the band alongside Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic, and Ty Dolla $ign. In 2017 the quartet released the charity single “Hoping,” with proceeds going to the American Civil Liberties Union.