XXcellent Music


Indie-pop and R&B band, The xx, has come from humble beginnings in Wandsworth, England, to selling 1 million copies of their album “xx” and winning the Mercury Prize in 2010.  The group consists of Oliver Sim, Romy Madley Croft and Jamie Smith, all self-proclaimed songwriters of heartbreak and loss, which definitely shows in their moody, techno-infused hits. The relatively older band, founded in 2005, has made a name for itself with its second album “Coexist” peaking number five on the Billboard Hot 200.

The band’s new, highly anticipated album came out this year on Jan. 13 and is already garnering lots of buzz. It’s heavily techno-inspired, with all three artists having their own type of solos in each song. Known as a band whose songs are “minimal,” the band completely slashes this stereotype with “Coexist,” a dramatic and somewhat peaceful album.

With “On Hold” becoming the frontrunner of the album, it starts with a calm solo of each singer with strange piercing echos throughout. It isn’t a song that you could necessarily dance to, but it carries its own strong beat that makes you want to tap your foot with the rhythm.

Their eerily inviting music tells a story of heartbreak, love and moving forward. The entire album feels like you are on a long, sleepy road trip, as the vocals croon on and the guitar riffs seem never-ending.

Reminiscent of Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine, Croft has a voice with a breathy, mysterious aura and a lullaby-like nature that almost puts the listener to sleep.

Older songs like “Intro” from the band’s first album “xx,” have brought those who are not particularly interested in indie songs into the genre, with peaceful yet exciting beats that some have not heard before. The song’s smooth beat sounds perfect for the soundtrack of a motivational movie or a slower action movie.

Every song in “I See You” fits perfectly with each other, creating a polished, smooth story with no rough edges. The xx’s new album leaves the listener wanting more, a factor in what makes the band so enthralling. Between their albums, the band members have found a way to create a cliffhanger gap, all the while making their sounds undeniably their own.  

The xx’s new album draws back to some of their usual beats and tones, and takes the listener into an intense emotional joyride with every song. After eight years in the business, the band has finally cultivated their signature sound: a melancholic almost spooky sound that haunts the listener and leaves them with the sense that they are in a californian-dream state.

Paige Halverson – Staff Writer