The xx: a musical gem of a discovery

X marks the spotI’m usually the last to learn about great music. I’ll be the guy who asks my friends if they’ve heard the great track from some band only to learn that the song came out two years ago. On top of my failure to find good tracks, I have a pretty quirky musical taste. It wouldn’t completely be inaccurate for me to mix in some electronic, followed by a dose of hip hop, backed up by some wonderful, delicious 80s on my iPod. There’s really no rhyme or reason to what I listen too, literally.

So I was happy to have stumbled upon a band called The xx or the “The ex ex” – or as they’re referred to. I really don’t know a thing about them except that they’re from London and they they lay down some rythmic, creepy vocals over some electrified guitar, bass and beat boxes. I won’t get flowery explaining it, so I’ll leave it to for a partial review:

Melodies are just barely insinuated through repetition, and the prevailing mode is one of sparse deconstruction of post-punk contrivances. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it adds up to an extremely efficient aural aphrodisiac for the disaffected 20-somethings for whom The xx’s peculiar brand of monotony resonates. The winking, minimal “Basic Space’’ is one good example of flirtation-through-indifference that seems to be the band’s go-to move; the more you ignore the audience the closer they get, you might say.

Haha. “aural aphrodisiac for the disaffected 20-somethings”…hell, I’m in my 30s and this stuff sounds good to me.

The song “Intro” is a good start – albeit there are no vocals. It’s reminiscent to the Chicago Bulls opening theme music they had back in the day:

So I’m happy to have scooped (what I believe) to be some pretty solid tracks from a band no one has really heard of yet. That is, until I get reminded on Facebook that they’ve been on the scene for 12 years and this is their 6th album – and they were cool when Smashmouth hit the scene.

Sheesh. Enjoy.

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Josh Benson


Josh Benson


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