Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Tunesday: "Angels," The xx
The xx's eponymous debut album is a treasure. Released in 2009, descriptions of the band's first effort commonly included the words haunting, sexy and intimate (good "Sound Opinions" interview from 2010). The key members of the xx, Oliver Sim and Romy Madley-Croft, have written music together since they were 15. Are they romantically tied? Dunno. It's sort of a mystery from what I can tell. I'll venture to say they at the very least were together. How else could one explain the authentic emotion they express on a song like "VCR"?
Rumor has it the band's second album, "Coexist," (Sept. 11 release date) will be a departure from the xx's signature sound ("complex ... introduces steel drums" and mentions of "club music"). If the first single, "Angels," is any indicator, we're in store for songs that sound like a continuation of where the band left off in 2009. The track is sparse. Sim's voice completely absent, Madley-Croft does just fine alone — describing her feelings of profound love to her silent counterpart. The beauty is in the stripped-down simplicity of the music and Madley-Croft's convicted-yet-fragile delivery — you know she means every bit of what she's singing, but at time you doubt she'll have the breath to sing it.
What else? You can listen to reasonable live recordings of four other "Coexist" tracks and question the tour schedule (no Texas dates).