Things are happening. I returned home this evening with the thought to listen to the two new songs that had recently been released from The xx’s sophomore album Coexist. I was shocked to see that the new album had leaked onto the interwebs, so change of plan, I’m listening to the whole thing. I feel kind of bad hearing it this early before the release date, September 11, but I’m certainly going to pick it up when it comes out.
First single ‘Angels’ was a short, sweet track that confirmed that Coexist would not stray far from the sound of their debut album. A simple guitar line, sparse drums and Romy Madley-Croft’s effortless vocals repeating, “Being as in love with you as i am, love, love, love”. Check out the video below:
‘Chained’ is about as dancey as The xx get without being remixed. Romy and Oliver share vocal duties over a Burial-esque beat that ends as abruptly as it starts. From there the album follows a very similar pattern to xx with a few new elements showing a gradual progression of their sound. While it could be concluded that they are not growing as a band, others believed that they would not be able to replicate the sound of their debut, citing it as a one-off. I’m happy to have more, similar sounding, record that gives 11 more songs to supplement the sublime tracks of 2009.
After a couple listens Coexist plays out as a late night dance party with a serious dose of coming down thrown on top. One second you might be able to get up and move, but with the next track you’re thrown back in the corner at 2am.Vocals sound more confident and play a stronger role in song dynamics, Oliver’s range has drastically improved after three years of touring. It’s still preliminary, but I expect to be listening to Coexist daily for the next few months.
Coexist is currently available for preorder from The xx website in multiple formats: MP3, CD, LP and Deluxe LP. Settling for the regular vinyl may not be enough for fans, as the deluxe is on 180g heavyweight vinyl, comes in a special die-cut gatefold sleeve with extra-large booklet and a CD version of the album. If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to one of their North American tour dates, you’ll receive a full download of their album when it is released on September 11. Speaking of their tour, it will be amazing. Spanish electronic musician John Talabot is opening for them, his album Fin is critically acclaimed and is my favourite record of 2013 so far. I wouldn’t object to being offered tickets to an xx show, I’m willing to fly almost anywhere to see them.