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The XX


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

New Wave pop

Status:

Most recent release, I See You (2017)

See also:

The XX's site

Wikipedia's entry for The XX

Comparisons:

Young Marble Giants, Velvet Underground, Japan

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers

General comments:

A group (originally a foursome, now a trio) from London with male/female lead vocals and a kind of moody new wave sound. (Neile)

They've been getting big press over here [England], kind of Young Marble Giants/Velvet Underground. They have the benefit of being very different from what's popular at the moment, and as the critics have now tired of the guitar/indie monster that they've spent the last few years helping to create (now referrring, sneeringly, to "indie landfill") this works very much in their favour, so watch this space.
     That somewhat cynically said, I was definitely intrigued by their sound—it has a delicate, unpretentious beauty. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

Comments about live performance:

I accidentally saw them opening for Florence and the Machine last week. Live, they don't exactly rock the house. Their style is suited for a smaller, more intimate venue, a club where you can lean in and pay attention. But market forces dictate, and the powers that be are putting them on in a headlining slot. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

Recommended first album:

The XX

Recordings:


The XX

Release info:

2009—Young Turks—YT031CD

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Romy Madley Croft—guitar, vocals
Oliver Sim—bass, vocals
Jamie Smith—drums, loops, keyboards, guitar
Baria Qureshi—drums, loops, keyboards, guitars

Comments:

The sound of this album is a throwback to the New Wave artists of the late 1970s, most especially to the somewhat affectless sound of Young Marble Giants. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim trade off vocals, often singing lines in response to each other. The sound feels minimalist and straightforward but not at all simplistic. The lyrics seem to be mostly about love and sex, so the subdued singing style makes the songs feel particularly effective because it makes the listener (me at least) really think about the conjunction of the tone and the lyrics. I found their sound utterly refreshing, and have grown to love this album. Highly recommended. (Neile)

Coexist

Release info:

2012—Young Turks—YT080CD

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Romy Madley Croft—guitar, vocals, keyboards
Oliver Sim—bass, vocals, synth
Jamie Smith—beats, MPC, piano, steel pans, organ

Guest artists:

Ivo Stankov, James Underwood, Sarah Chapman, Charlotte Eksteen—strings (8)

Produced by:

Jamie Smith

Comments:

This one is a little quieter and more mournful, though not at all less poignant than The XX. (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2017-01-17 00:55:43.
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