The XX // Coexist
9.10.12 Young Turks
If you haven’t heard The xx before, their unique sound is hard to describe, but it's irresistible. (I still regularly turn to their first record from 2009 for everything from road trips to cooking music.) The music is soft, and although the vocals are lovely centerpieces, they also somehow fade into the songs. Chord arrangements are simple but combine to make beautiful tracks.
The band members sometimes sing solo but sometimes in a soft and sweet girl-boy harmony. A comparison to Cat Power on “You Are Free” comes to mind, although the overall sound is fuller and more melodic, and very distinct. When you hear a song by The XX, you know it’s
them. In that way, this album isn’t a huge jump from their first, self-titled LP. The lyrics in their earlier album were catchier, although there are snippets on this one that do stick in your head. Although the mood is soft, there are also beats and pulsing electronic sounds backing some tracks, which make the sound very modern - a good headphones record.
The overall feel is you, in a dark room, making longing mix tapes for the one you love -- and who loved you back at some point, but decided they needed a change and went on an Antarctic expedition to find themself, and may or may not return. Not always unrequited, but finite.
Recommended Tracks: Angels (1), Fiction (3), Swept Away (10), Try (4)