The XX

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

anyone else listening to them? probably the best new music i've heard all year. they describe their influences as everything from Aaliyah to Cocorosie, Rhianna to The Cure, Missy Elliott to The Chromatics and Mariah Carey to The Pixies which may sound a little pretentious but is pretty OTM.

first single "crystalised":

groovemaaan, Sunday, 16 August 2009 12:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

full album stream
http://www.we7.com/#/album/xx-Exclusive-album-preview-!albumId=367943

piscesx, Sunday, 16 August 2009 13:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

New single:

Barnaby, Hardly, Sunday, 16 August 2009 14:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

Don't get this band. They seem to have become this year's Token Indie Band for the dubstep crowd (exhibit A - The Lex likes them) but I thought the album was just blank and nothingy and a bit dull. Maybe I need to give it more time.

Matt DC, Sunday, 16 August 2009 14:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'm really enjoying the record. I can hear some of the influences namechecked above for sure, but the minimalism reminds me of Young Marble Giants more than anything. Not musically, but in just how spare the arrangements are.

I also dig the way that their image seems completely incongruous with the music.

Barnaby, Hardly, Sunday, 16 August 2009 14:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

this v good record am enjoying greatly

Roberto Spiralli, Sunday, 16 August 2009 14:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

They sound like a slightly less dynamic Morcheeba. If I want moody poseurs playing emptily doomy music I'll stick with the new Horrors album I think.

DavidM, Sunday, 16 August 2009 15:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

The male singer is a total snooze; he perks up when the girl joins in.

Anatomy of a Morbius (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 16 August 2009 15:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

They're phenomenal live. They blew The Big Pink off stage in London a few months ago.

(Which, on reflection, isn't saying that much.)

Doran, Sunday, 16 August 2009 15:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

the album's ok... gets old fast

fauxmarc, Sunday, 16 August 2009 15:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

but the minimalism reminds me of Young Marble Giants more than anything

This is my favorite thing to use a reference as well.

That said, outside of "Crystalised" being one of my favorite songs of the year, I think the album is pretty boring.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

are these guys actually ok? whenever indie bands run thru their list of influences + it has stuff like aaliyah, missy &c then i start rolling my eyes. it's like myspace pages w/ crunk

this might be unfair

just sayin, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yeah it's okay but where's the Aaliyah, Missy, and Mariah Carey? Maybe they should work on The Meters.

Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

Both of those singles sound incredibly boring to me. Certainly not hearing Missy or the Pixies

claws of jungle red (Stevie D), Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

I can hear Pixies-lite...

Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

Listening to this just makes me want to listen to that live version of Gus Gus's "Believe" instead

claws of jungle red (Stevie D), Sunday, 16 August 2009 19:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

Uh influences is just that, influences. Doesn't mean they will use the sound of mentioned band/artist. Which thank god they didn't do. I'd hate to hear Pixies mixed with Mariah. Love'em both but not at the same time.

Nathalie (stevienixed), Sunday, 16 August 2009 20:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

"Uh" then how exactly are they influenced by them? And Strokes/Christina Aguilera worked so why not Pixies/Mariah?

Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 16 August 2009 20:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

Personally I hear Xanax references

Nathalie (stevienixed), Sunday, 16 August 2009 20:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

sounds like stripped down balearic tunes being packed in a form of soul ballad. 'shelter' is pretty great, till the moment one realise that it goes nowhere.

gwidon, Sunday, 16 August 2009 22:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

never mind the balearics

damo tsu tsuki (r1o natsume), Sunday, 16 August 2009 22:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

here's the XX

damo tsu tsuki (r1o natsume), Sunday, 16 August 2009 22:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

wow "basic space" is really really good

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Monday, 17 August 2009 07:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

this is the sort of minimalis indie that i can handle - everything is v confidently & carefully arranged. basically the complete opposite of micachu.

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Monday, 17 August 2009 07:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

as previously mentioned, though, I feel like it goes nowhere. I keep waiting for the song to begin.

claws of jungle red (Stevie D), Monday, 17 August 2009 07:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

because of the RIHANNA! MISSY! AALIYAH! name dropping i was all ready to hate on this like crazy but it really won me over real quick. "basic space" is the only one i've listened to so far but i really think it has a great sense of build, and they add on hooks as the song progresses (even into the final minute). i keep coming back to micachu, but i feel like that stuff just takes one or two ideas and plays it out all smashed together for three minutes with no real regard or care for 'proper' arrangement. ('proper' in the sense that it was well thought out not in the sense that there is an objectively 'proper' way to arrange a song.) (and this is not to say that all music needs to be properly and artfully arranged & planned out like a mansion is being built [altho i would say that i probs lean towards music that is made like that more often than not] but that i think with twee-leaning stuff like micachu the sloppiness & bareness can get really grating where something like, idk, early green day would not)

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Monday, 17 August 2009 07:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

otoh "basic space" just has this sense of professionalism and knack for structure that i think is most prevalent in stuff by people like - GASP - the-dream & that's where i could see some r&b influences and it's v impressive

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Monday, 17 August 2009 07:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

i'm really glad i got into them before i read any of the bio/influences stuff, which have...not very much to do w/their music. i like the stillness, the carefulness, the clean production and bare-bones arrangements. disagree that the songs go nowhere - as i remember there are some really great builds on the album. it's "moody" in the best sense. 'basic space' is prob my least favourite on the album (tho).

lex pretend, Monday, 17 August 2009 07:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

aw fuck there's a micachu remix of "basic space"

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Monday, 17 August 2009 08:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

i think i'll be fine w/never hearing that

lex pretend, Monday, 17 August 2009 08:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

ok listening to this now. i love the combination of shoegazey ethereal harmonies with the steady bare-bones arrangements - the vocals are blurry but everything else is in such sharp focus. am reminded somewhat of the kills in their attitude to repetition.

lex pretend, Monday, 17 August 2009 08:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

OOH they are playing london this week.

lex pretend, Monday, 17 August 2009 08:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

I thoroughly enjoyed this when I gave it a listen the other week, but I can't say that I've been inspired to listen to it since. It was pleasant but there was something a little sterile about it. Geir-friendly, perhaps.

Sickamous (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 17 August 2009 08:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

the difference between really liking this and finding it "pleasant but sterile" is in the margins i think

geir ham, go (J0rdan S.), Monday, 17 August 2009 08:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wouldn't this be a lot better with only the girl singing ? The guy's voice sounds really dull. Nice production and some cool songs though.

J4mi3 H4rl3y (Snowballing), Monday, 17 August 2009 09:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

'basic space' is prob my least favourite on the album (tho).

Mine too.

as previously mentioned, though, I feel like it goes nowhere.

That's the problem with a majority of the album. It sounds like they got bored with whatever idea they worked out and moved on to the next one. "Crystalised" is the only one, to me, that feels fully fleshed out (but I do love the instrumental "Intro" regardless).

Johnny Fever, Monday, 17 August 2009 10:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

I only listened to the track on the Youtube video embedded above, having been enticed by the interesting set of quoted influences, but found it very tedious. I just don't want to hear songs with that kind of numbingly boring, uninspiring chord sequence or that tired-sounding vocal style. I never liked that style in the first place but it seems even worse now, being rehashed for the umpteenth time.

dubmill, Monday, 17 August 2009 11:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

Relistening, "Basic Space" isn't terrible but still isn't my thing. Certainly doesn't "suck" though, and I give them mad props for doing something that really isn't being done atm. The sound quite mature for whatever age they look in these videos/pix.

claws of jungle red (Stevie D), Monday, 17 August 2009 15:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

I am loving this. So nice and sparse, almost Young Marble Giants-ish in places.

Simon H., Monday, 17 August 2009 16:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

Xpost

Saw them on Friday at a free show in NYC, purely by accident. Liked them more than School of Seven Bells, also on the bill, FWIW.

British, sparing, sometimes melancholic. I might have too much of this stuff already. But maybe not.

Shh! It's NOT Me!, Monday, 17 August 2009 16:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

almost Young Marble Giants-ish in places.

Argh, stop saying this. This is nothing like YMG.

DavidM, Monday, 17 August 2009 17:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

Some of it kinda is.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 17 August 2009 17:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

But not enough. Another friend says this sounds like the Vaselines, which is also not quite accurate.

Anatomy of a Morbius (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 August 2009 17:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

Someone tell me why I keep coming back to this thread even though I only like two songs on the record! Maybe I feel like a mother hen or something because I've been gushing over "Crystalised" since months ago and, even though the album was disappointing, I still feel loyal.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 17 August 2009 17:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

the biggest problem with this album is that all the songs sounds the same, and as mentioned,going nowhere.

Zeno, Monday, 17 August 2009 17:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

somehow most of the new hyped british bands in recent years are dissapointing.

Zeno, Monday, 17 August 2009 17:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

TS: X vs The X vs The XX ....

m0stlyClean, Monday, 17 August 2009 18:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

vs The Ex

young depardieu looming out of void in hour of profound triumph (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 17 August 2009 18:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

It's not a perfect album by any stretch but in some respects there's nothing wrong with a band doing an album that all sounds the same. Loads of good albums sound pretty similar all the way through on the first few listens.

If anything I wish they hadn't included the slightly different sounding track. Not because I don't like it but because it's too much like 'Wicked Game' by Chris Isaak.

Doran, Monday, 17 August 2009 20:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

because it's too much like 'Wicked Game' by Chris Isaak

Ha! I definitely heard that in there too.

Also, the first track, to me, sounds like a Foals 45 played at 33.

Barnaby, Hardly, Monday, 17 August 2009 20:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

really? Their consistency is such that I have no problem if this neophyte purchased any of'em.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 14:46 (two months ago) Permalink

I would go chronologically; the first album is the foundation and the 2nd and 3rd are extremes swinging in either direction from it; I feel like you get more out of the choices made on the later albums if you contrast them with how the first was put together.

(The caption: “fine dining.”) (DJP), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 14:53 (two months ago) Permalink

latest favourites are : "Lips", "Violent Noise" and "Replica".
I think by the end of the week I'll love the whole album !
So far, there's only "Test Me" that's unclear to me.
And "Dangerous" is OK but doesn't seem to have a big potential to grow on me.

AlXTC from Paris, Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:42 (two months ago) Permalink

I get the feeling that Romy has been listening a lot to The Studio and to Robert Smith's guitar playing - I hear a lot of familiar six-string bass riffs

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 16:56 (two months ago) Permalink

You're right, but he's used those tunings since the debut.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 18 January 2017 16:57 (two months ago) Permalink

this is extremely corny wow

marcos, Wednesday, 18 January 2017 17:07 (two months ago) Permalink

first ilm event album of 2017

niels, Wednesday, 18 January 2017 17:26 (two months ago) Permalink

i've had the chorus to "say something loving" stuck in my head for a week

monotony, Wednesday, 18 January 2017 22:19 (two months ago) Permalink

feelings abt coexist itt so confused

schlump, Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:04 (two months ago) Permalink

Sunset (Jamie XX remix) is tops as well

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:12 (two months ago) Permalink

reunion, sunset, missing, & swept away from coexist are all great

brave for you & performance are definitely the weaker tracks on the new one

ufo, Thursday, 19 January 2017 01:24 (two months ago) Permalink

don't really get the hate for "performance" or "brave for you" - i wouldn't call the latter a heartbroken whisper at all, it's virtually an inspirational x factor powerballad (and all the better for it) albeit xx'ed down obviously. i love how direct the lyrics are on this, they're on the nose but somehow not too much (this band, all about the tightrope walk). sequencing is impeccable imo - makes "on hold" sound like such a release. the final track is a bit of a nothingy wisp i guess

lex pretend, Thursday, 19 January 2017 11:19 (two months ago) Permalink

I feel like 'i dare you' is kind of this album's thesis statement

KevRus, Friday, 20 January 2017 06:38 (two months ago) Permalink

Played some of these (three songs actually: hold on, replica and say something loving) early at a big event of 400 people in one of my bars today. Noone seemed to mind but noone seemed impressed either or came by to ask what I was playing - I played the new Jens Lekman song, as a contrast, and two different guys asked me what it was. When I play something off the debut every now and then (favorite plays are 'intro' 'Islands' or 'Shelter') I still get people asking me about them. My point is that these songs don't seem to bother anyone but they also fail to generare interest in newcomers.

Nothing particularly interesting in my post just wanted to share my social experiments with these songs so far.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Friday, 20 January 2017 08:56 (two months ago) Permalink

The use of David Lang on Lips is so great.

Frederik B, Friday, 20 January 2017 09:30 (two months ago) Permalink

Say Something Loving is so easily the best thing they've ever done it's not even funny. i don't usually like them much but that's amazing.

piscesx, Friday, 20 January 2017 11:54 (two months ago) Permalink

yeh i've had that song stuck in my head for days

nxd, Friday, 20 January 2017 12:00 (two months ago) Permalink

The final track is not particularly memorable or developed but as an atmospheric piece to close the album, it's fine (funny that in the quietus review that generally destroyed the album, that final track is one of the few salvable tracks...).
http://thequietus.com/articles/21551-the-xx-i-see-you-review

so, the only track I don't particularly like now is "Dangerous". I skip it most of the times.
It's ok and not a dud though. a kind of club banger. maybe I'll warm up to it later.
All the rest is good or, mostly, great.

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 20 January 2017 12:19 (two months ago) Permalink

Dangerous felt a little clunky at first but it's grown on me

ufo, Friday, 20 January 2017 13:07 (two months ago) Permalink

Loving the closing one-two hit of Dare You / Test Me

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 20 January 2017 13:20 (two months ago) Permalink

Say Something Loving is so easily the best thing they've ever done it's not even funny. i don't usually like them much but that's amazing.

I think the first thing that hit me on the album was the "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know" part. so good.
There are so many little touches and beautiful moments on the record.
And the funny thing is that I don't even like the male singer's voice ! he's pretty poor, borderline incompetent and out of place on an otherwise beautifully crafted record.

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 20 January 2017 14:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Loving the closing one-two hit of Dare You / Test Me

― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx)

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 20 January 2017 14:58 (two months ago) Permalink

I kind of dismissed these guys back in the day, but stumbled upon it this morning and it's damn near prefect for what I was after (the first album). Was Graham Sutton anything to do with it? It might just be the limpid guitar lines, but it's really reminding me of Bark Psychosis.

Sunn O))) Brother Where Art Thou? (Chinaski), Saturday, 21 January 2017 11:32 (two months ago) Permalink

I quite liked the debut and thought the second album had its moments, but I can't hear anything good in this at all. Imo their voices feel unbelievably grating now and the melodies beyond generic. I really don't get it, which I was not expecting based on all the hype.

tangenttangent, Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:47 (two months ago) Permalink

this new album sucks

Οὖτις, Monday, 23 January 2017 21:05 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm not invested in this album one way or the other ('Performance' and 'Replica' have really nice hooks, but a lot of these sound too much like they were made to be on a Grey's Anatomy episode), but it's an interesting Rorschach test.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 23 January 2017 21:13 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm at the point where I am actively offended by yet another album of 80s synth pop sounds

Οὖτις, Monday, 23 January 2017 21:16 (two months ago) Permalink

Was in a hipsterish bar on Saturday working/writing. They put on the new album, which had given me little pleasure listening to it on my own, but there it worked. Everyone was enjoying it. I saw an odd group of twelve 60+ year olds who'd just come from the theater tapping their feet to it and making things among themselves less awkars. And I enjoyed hearing it in a social setting way more than alone at home, too.

Moka, your crowd is prob too cool for school :)

Eine Kleine Nakh Musik (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 23 January 2017 21:16 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm at the point where I am actively offended by yet another album of 80s synth pop sounds

I'm not hearing much 80s synth pop in here at all? Lot of other bands have exhausted that well but this all sounds pretty new and fresh to me

Evan R, Monday, 23 January 2017 21:21 (two months ago) Permalink

honestly my first point of comparison was the Thompson Twins

Οὖτις, Monday, 23 January 2017 21:29 (two months ago) Permalink

initial reaction, whatever

Οὖτις, Monday, 23 January 2017 21:30 (two months ago) Permalink

"I Dare You" has a similar beat to Chromatics "The Page"

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Monday, 23 January 2017 21:39 (two months ago) Permalink

Nearly all of it sounds like 80's post-punk to me. Even the ones that also sounds 100% like post-dubstep indie-rock, samples pop and neo-classical, or sounds more like r'n'b. I think it's impressive.

Frederik B, Monday, 23 January 2017 22:09 (two months ago) Permalink

LBI: Hahaha yeah probably. It helps having three different sorts of bars to test music socially it's fun. Of course the XX seem more fitting for restaurants or cafes than a bar.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Monday, 23 January 2017 22:38 (two months ago) Permalink

Someone requested a spotify playlist. It's a private collaborative playlist so if I'm not around and someone wants to edit feel free to do so.

https://open.spotify.com/user/moteldemoka/playlist/18mDKKVGcU8NMzOqiZfho5

dance cum rituals (Moka), Monday, 23 January 2017 22:45 (two months ago) Permalink

oops wrong thread

dance cum rituals (Moka), Monday, 23 January 2017 22:45 (two months ago) Permalink

i've always found this band a slog at album length, but there are some nice moments. not 80s

flopson, Monday, 23 January 2017 22:46 (two months ago) Permalink

The only tune which inspires nothing has no eighties signifiers: "Brave For You," and it reminds me of the pretty, vacant stasis of Beach House.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 January 2017 03:24 (two months ago) Permalink

ugh no, Beach House are imperial, suspended in the ether, whereas "Brave for You" is much more mundane and self absorbed (and I feel a bit shitty knowing its origin, but I like what I like).

attention vampire (MatthewK), Tuesday, 24 January 2017 03:28 (two months ago) Permalink

Have yet to hear the album but I read the Pitchfork profile where they mentioned they will be doing a mashup of Shelter and Gosh on their tour, which is hard to imagine sounding good

Vinnie, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 05:44 (two months ago) Permalink

https://youtu.be/GfuNovSeCiw they did the Shelter/Gosh mashup on a radio session and yeah it doesn't work that well. the Night Time/Swept Away/Shelter medley they were doing last tour worked much better

ufo, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 05:55 (two months ago) Permalink

you may not like it, but "Brave For You" is an extremely obvious Beach House rip

Number None, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 07:43 (two months ago) Permalink

As I anticipated, I now like all the songs (although I could do without "Dangerous" and start the album directly with the 1-2-3 punch "Say Something Loving"/"Lips"/"Violent Noise".
"Performance" is a kind of closing song midway, like "Test Me" for the other half (and the whole album). Both songs follow 4 more upbeat songs.
It's a great album with mostly great songs.
That said, my only criticism may be that it's a bit slight and lacks some depth.
There's a feeling of listening to a compilation of great tracks more than a cohesive whole.

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:15 (two months ago) Permalink

i like the length

nxd, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:19 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah, me too, the length is not a problem.
It's one of the rare albums that I don't find too long !
But I don't know, there's something unsatisfactory about it.

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Oh no no -- I want short albums, the shorter the better

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 January 2017 11:25 (two months ago) Permalink

anywhere ~30 mins for my drive to and from work is good for me haha

nxd, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 11:29 (two months ago) Permalink

ah yeah, I think my ideal album would be around 10 tracks and 40min !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 11:47 (two months ago) Permalink

when I see something with 17 tracks over 80min, I cringe.
The 90s were a nightmare for me !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 24 January 2017 11:49 (two months ago) Permalink

Number None my apologies, I stuck out as much of Brave for You as I could stand and agree it's lifting from Beach House. RMS's voice is so unsuited to the form though.

attention vampire (MatthewK), Friday, 27 January 2017 21:42 (two months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.