The xx is an English indie pop band embracing minimalism and thriving in musical lack of sound. There is no overpowering guitar or driving drum (in this case drum machine). Instead the vocals shine like flood lights in a mist of chords. The xx tickets are those to indie pop shows unlike many other. The atmosphere is piqued for something big, keeping the audience on edge from the beginning to the end.
While previously the xx delivered this with a quartet, now they do so with three musicians. Romy Craft, Oliver Sim, and Jamie Smith remains while guitarist Baria Qureshi parted ways in what has been described as a difficult departure. These three recovered and went to record and release Coexist, the second album from the group. A more adventurous titled the self-titled debut, the new work is aptly named for the most dominating sound, the back forth between singers Craft and Sims. This is not the typical male-female duet, but the two are able to complement each other without raising their voices above a whisper.
Two singles have been released from the album, “Angel” and “Chained”. “Angel” plays it even slower and is a rare track featuring Romy as the lone singer. “Chained” another duet is a refined take on the sound from the beloved debut album. The arrangement is so soft the individual chords of the bass can be heard clearly and the keyboard chords strike and linger, dissipating into the ether while the vocals occupy a space meant for one sound at a time. The entire album follows suit to the effect that one can clearly make out the difference between these new tracks and previous hits “VCR” and “Islands”. Both albums are incredible works and both make for great concert tours, playing differently in large and intimate venues.