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The xx / December 2012 English Tour

 
By on Friday, 21st September 2012 at 9:30 am
 

The xx will be on tour in England in December. Tickets are on sale now.

Read Cheryl’s review of their second album ‘Coexist’ here.

Thursday 6th December 2012 – Brighton Dome
Tuesday 11th December 2012 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Wednesday 12th December 2012 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Friday 14th December 2012 – Bristol Colston Hall
Sunday 16th December 2012 – London Brixton Academy

 

Album Review: The xx – Coexist

 
By on Wednesday, 12th September 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Sophomore effort ‘Coexist’ from moody indie outfit the xx is full of the same great ambient, melancholic music of their Mercury 2010 award winning debut. Romy Madley-Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith took their time crafting this album, just over 3 years. There is a lot expected from these three. Still extremely young, garnering such high praise and success so early in their careers, something often not found hand in hand, they had a lot to shoulder. It turns out we are in luck, this album is a triumph and worth the wait.

It manages to repeat the successes of the past without sounding stale, including just enough new to show growth but staying true to their signature sound. The differences from the first album are subtle, clearer vocals in the mix, a deeper but still wandering bass, and a flow between tracks that can’t be beat. Despite Smith claiming that “club music has definitely had an influence on the next record” a year before, I had a hard time seeing that. Perhaps it’s just a club I’ve not been to.

Combining the soulful intonation of Sim with Madley-Croft’s nearly whispered vocals, the songs resonate with the kind of longing and unresolved relationship tension that is their calling card. The album opens with lead single ‘Angels’ with a sound that reflects the ubiquitous ‘Intro’ from the first album, all pulse-y and breathy. In the brutal ‘Unfold’, Madley Croft murmurs “In my head, you tell me things you’ve never said, and I chose to forget, I take the good and leave the rest”. For someone who is at the end of a relationship, this song could just about tear them asunder. Music has power to both raise up and tear down. Despite the massive appeal of the xx, this song should come with a warning label for already depressed or lovelorn souls. Another stand out, ‘Reunion’, is simply hypnotic with its steel drums and repetitive chant.

Still extremely sparse and minimalist, it almost makes you want more, straining for just a bit of embellishment. But when it subsides, you are strangely satisfied anyway. I know of no other band that can tease out an almost build to the music without disappointing you by not finishing it. The xx seems to have found a mystical formula to do just that. The original critical acclaim heaped on the band came at a time when music was needing a fresh injection. With ‘Coexist’ they prove that they are not only great musical craftsmen, but a still-needed voice in the ever-clanging music industry.

8/10

‘Coexist’, the second album by the xx, is out now on Young Turks. Bits of the band’s intimate BBC Maida Vale performance for Steve Lamacq in late August were broadcast are during the final hour of Lammo’s last Monday night’s programme. It’s available on iPlayer here until next Monday morning.

 

Live Gig Video: The xx perform ‘Angels’ in a hotel room in Tokyo

 
By on Thursday, 23rd August 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

While the xx were in Japan in July for a tour, they felt so inspired in the capital city of Tokyo that they got swept up in the moment and recorded this video of ‘Angels’ in Romy Madley-Croft’s 33rd floor hotel room. Inspiration stops for no-one and we’re glad the trio recorded this for posterity. Watch the video below. (Sure beats Prince Harry’s hotel room antics in Las Vegas.)

The xx’s highly anticipated second album ‘Coexist’ drops on the 10th of September on Young Turks.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYXejsku99Q[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: The xx play ‘Angels’ for Conan O’Brien

 
By on Thursday, 2nd August 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

A short while ago, Mercury Prize-winning London trio the xx appeared on the American late night show of Conan O’Brien, where they played ‘Angels’. Watch the performance below.

You can read Braden’s assessment of this first real peek into the band’s second album, ‘Coexist’, which is out on 10 September on Young Turks, here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDjRRuHN8HI[/youtube]

 

In the Post #93: The xx reveal new track ‘Angels’ from forthcoming sophomore album ‘Coexist’

 
By on Thursday, 19th July 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

I’ll admit it. When the xx first broke onto the scene, released their album and even when they got that coveted Mercury seal of approval; I simply didn’t get it. It wasn’t the kind of post-rock that builds up to something epic. It didn’t have a Sigur Ros style of beauty nor did it seem to have the subtlety and beat of Apparat.. In many ways, I still feel that way.

What has changed in my mind to make me suddenly this year pick up the album once more and enjoy it? Possibly that it’s not being forced down my throat by every poster and poser in the trendier parts of the country. Possibly its that Jamie XX’s work in its own merit has made me less reluctant to enjoy the music he creates within an act. Maybe it’s that my ability to enjoy the mellower end of life-soundtrack music has deepened. Whatever it is, I added the record to my iPod just a few months ago; now, I’m ready to fondly rekindle the brief affection I’ve felt for them with new music, but do they deserve or warrant such affection?

Of course we’re meant to forget that at their trio of “secret” London shows they premiered a good half of a new record because the music that was played there is all over YouTube re simply the best effort at a live recording that fans could manage. (Here are recordings of ‘Friction’ and ‘Closer Than This’.) What we do have to take on however is that in less than 2 days, the xx have managed to amass over 600,000 views on the new track ‘Angels’.

The sound hasn’t changed a huge amount. If anything, the instrumentation is even more sparse and the vocals are more the key. It still goes basically nowhere, but as far as dedication to the very specific xx sound they’ve created, it’s bound to be a happy welcome home for such a melancholy track. “And leaving without them / being as in love with you as I am,” sings Romy Madley-Croft. It’s kind of beautiful, but it was always going to be. Surprise me soon please, dear xx, or I might just get bored again.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nW5AF0m9Zw[/youtube]

If you pre-order the new album ‘Coexist’ from the xx, you get an instant free download of this track ‘Angels’.

 

Live Gig Video: The xx reveal new material in low key gig at Chats Palace in London

 
By on Friday, 18th May 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Mercury Prize-winning band the xx played a series of very low key (not to mention very small and hard to get into) gigs this past week in London. Watch it below.

If you recall, around New Year’s they revealed a rough recording of ‘Open Eyes’; listen to it in this previous In the Post.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJqE-i9Lris[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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