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The xx

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the xx are four precocious 19 year olds from south west london



the xx are four precocious 19 year olds from south west london who provide the hushed minimal strokes of young marble giants and early cure but through the minds of a young act obsessed with the r&b turns of ciara and aaliyah, having gone so far as to cover the latter's 'hot like fire' as the b-side for their first single, 'crystalised' and having first been picked up after recording a sensational version of womack and womack's 'teardrops'. having signed to xl sub-label young turks earlier in the year the band began to record with a host of the finest producers going, including brazilian giant diplo and up-and-coming hotshot kwes the four eventually settled with the option of recording at xl's in-house studio, with 'xx' eventually produced by the band themselves. this is an inspired, broken and uplifting record, packed with melancholic charms that recalls the suburban disillusion of the previous burial records and portishead's 'dummy'. this is a remarkable debut record from a remarkable new act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Review: The XX @ Lido 13.10.2009

 

Despite their youth and the early stage of their career, The XX has already reached an astounding state of musical cohesion that many bands can only dream of. The voices of both lead singers (Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim) interweave seamlessly with one another and float atop their songs as if they were actually released by the same breath. Their music is tight and controlled, without a single hole or missed note; but it is also gentle and warm. Because of the quality of their debut album, The XX has quickly skidded into the place of exceedingly popular newcomers.
   
Their live show is just as dark and mysterious as the songs they sing. For the most part the band itself is only subtly lit from the front, with the backlights flooding past them onto the front of the audience. The delicate and breathy vocals blended with the finely crafted electronic percussion, heavy bass line, and melodic guitars emerge from the motionless figures in the shadows, creating an eerie atmosphere. With the depth and intimacy of their lyrics, it is difficult to blame them for remaining hidden while they’re singing.

The band played, essentially, their album as it had been recorded, only switching the songs ‘Crystallized’ and ‘VCR’ and inserting their fabulous cover of Womack and Womack’s ‘Teardrops.’ They moved from song to song with little interruption in between. While humorous tour stories or audience interaction other than quick ‘thank yous’ are always appreciated, their overall style and presentation doesn’t necessarily call for this. They have already bared their souls with their music. Even with little crowd contact, their stage presence at Lido was stronger and more assured than in the beginning of July, when they first came to Berlin’s Magnet Club.

The only element missing from the show was an encore, vital if only for the fact that they deserve to come back on stage and be acknowledged for their contribution to contemporary music. Their debut album will be difficult to top, especially given the number of eyes looking at them. But this is something that they must quickly get used to in order to sustain their desire and ability to share the music they make so well.

Written by Brit-Maren Schjeide

 

 

Setlist:
1. Intro
2. Crystallized
3. VCR
4. Islands
5. Heart Skipped a Beat
6. Fantasy
7. Shelter
8. Basic Space
9. Teardrops
10. Infinity
11. Nighttime
12. Stars


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