Painstakingly beautiful, broken, vulnerable yet poignant and intimate, could be the words one would use to describe a past relationship, but these same words could be used for The xx‘s second album, Coexist. While their sophomore effort does not feel as a break from their sound, more like a progression from their first album, xx, Coexist delivers the emotional lyrics accompanied by the simplicity of the bass, drums and guitar. As it always happens with new singers or bands, their debut album tends to be so perfect that the pressure for the second album is always greater than anything, whether it is to break away from what made them famous in the first place, or experiment with new sounds and hope that the result is good. However, with Coexist, The xx affirms something that most of us already knew: there isn’t anyone else that sounds like them. The xx have created their own unique sound and feel to their music, that in order for them to break off from their indie-pop, minimal, post-dubstep would have been a very bad idea, in Coexist they embrace it even more now that we already know what to expect lyrically and production-wise.
While the instruments and vocals play a huge part in The xx sound, what is most strikingly beautiful of all is how well they manage to work along with silence in their music, how less becomes more and how we as listeners get to appreciate more their minimalist efforts, listen to “Missing” so you know what I’m talking about.
While The xx’s lyrics usually revolve around nostalgia, heartbreak and love, these are also found in more upbeat songs like “Reunion” and “Tides” that are more influenced by club music that xx’s own producer and member Jamie xx, has already done before mixing music from Adele to Drake to Florence And The Machine. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim’s vocals are what complement Jamie’s impeccable production, it is the yearning intimacy in their lyrics that while it is not so outstandingly revealing, it shows enough in order for any listener to connect with them.
In conclusion, I do feel that breaking up from xx is hard, but after a few listens you will get to love Coexist if you don’t really like it by it’s first listen. See what I did there? The xx hold their own when it comes to their unique sound, and now that most of us know about them we are finally able to coexist.
Favorite songs: “Angels“, “Tides“, “Missing”
You can purchase The xx’s Coexist through our TYF Store by clicking HERE!