Ex's & Oh's

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"Ex's & Oh's"
Elle King - Ex's & Oh's.png
Single by Elle King
from the album Love Stuff
Released September 23, 2014 (2014-09-23)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2014; Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Genre
Length 3:22
Label RCA
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Dave Bassett
Elle King singles chronology
"I Don't Mind"
(2013)
"Ex's & Oh's"
(2014)
"Under the Influence"
(2015)

"I Don't Mind"
(2013)
"Ex's & Oh's"
(2014)
"Under the Influence"
(2015)

"Ex's & Oh's" is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Elle King for her debut studio album, Love Stuff (2015). It was released September 23, 2014 as King's debut solo single and the album's lead single via RCA Records.[1] The song achieved success in the rock genre, peaking at number 1 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart, and later crossed over to adult pop radio.

In June 2015, "Ex's & Oh's" was certified Gold by Music Canada; it has since been certified double Platinum.[2] "Ex's & Oh's" reached the top of the Alternative Songs chart in September 2015, becoming only the second song by a solo female to reach the top since 1996 after Lorde achieved the feat in 2013 with "Royals".[3] The song also became King's first top-10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It also charted moderately well internationally, attaining top-10 peaks in Australia, Austria, and New Zealand, amongst others.

"Ex's & Oh's" received two nominations at the 58th Grammy Awards: Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.[4]

Composition[edit]

"Ex's & Oh's" is an uptempo pop rock,[5] blues rock,[6] alternative rock,[7] with elements of Southern rock, and a swing beat.[8][9] The song was written by Elle King with the song's producer, Dave Bassett, and King credits him with helping her shape the sound of the album.[10] Its instrumentation includes the banjo, guitar and drums and is influenced by country music.[6] The song's lyrics describe the narrator's past relationships with needy men and her tendency to "[chew] men up and eat them."[7][8] King describes how her ex-boyfriends are like ghosts; they always want to come back to haunt her. She also explains how her feelings toward her boyfriends quickly shift and her carelessness over the relationship. According to Musicnotes.com, the song is written in E minor.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

"Ex's & Oh's" received acclaim from many music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic labelled the song one of the highlights of Love Stuff, writing, "When King walks a fine line between rock crunch and soul testifying, there's some fire."[12] Entertainment blog Renowned for Sound rated the song 4.5 stars out of 5; reviewer Marcus Floyd praised both King's storytelling ability and the song's catchy production, saying: ".. it just has this attractive sound that makes you want to hear it again and again".[7] Bradley Stern wrote a very positive review of the song for MuuMuse in which he described the song as "ballsy, brash and profoundly #unapologetic."[6]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Ex's & Oh's" premiered on May 1, 2015.[13] The video, directed by Michael Maxxis, begins with King's character kicking her boyfriend, played by Thom Glant, out of their car in the middle of a desert, and then focuses largely on a barbecue party and other recreational activities at King's trailer campsite in the desert. The video occasionally cuts back to King's boyfriend trying to find her, which he eventually does. Featuring many scantily clad male characters and scenes with clear sexual innuendos, the video inverts the objectification of women common in contemporary music videos, and has been praised by critics for this role reversal.[8][14]

Live performances[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[76] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[77] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[2] 5× Platinum 400,000^
Germany (BVMI)[78] Gold 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[79] Platinum 30,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[80] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[81] 3× Platinum 444,000[3]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States September 23, 2014 Digital download RCA [1]
October 7, 2014 Adult album alternative [82]
May 11, 2015 Modern rock radio [83]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Amazon.com: Ex's & Oh's: Elle King: MP3 Downloads". Amazon Music. Amazon.com. September 23, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
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  6. ^ a b c Stern, Bradley (September 24, 2014). ""Ex's & Oh's": Elle King Breaks Hearts With Her Blues Rock Anthem". MuuMuse. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Floyd, Marcus (January 30, 2015). "Single Review: Elle King – 'Ex's & Oh's'". Renowned for Sound. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Kinos-Goodin, Jesse. "Elle King throws a beefcake barbecue in new video for 'Ex's and Oh's'". CBC Music. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
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  11. ^ "Elle King "Ex's and Oh's" Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com.
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External links[edit]