You might recall that iTunes used to run a free ‘Single of the Week’ promotion. I’m talking a while ago. I believe it was that metric that led me to The xx in 2009. ‘Crystalised’ was served to those of us who frantically used to rush to download the hotly-tipped big new thing. And wow, if that was just the start, hasn’t the band come so far?
When ‘xx’, their debut album, arrived, there was a lot of very necessary, justified hype. They’d crossed a bridge from indie into experimental electronics and it was as though humankind had just landed on a virgin planet. It was bombastic and decade-marking, right before the noughties passed the baton to 2010.
The goosebumps I got from the opening hooks of ‘Intro’ and the xylophone melody of ‘VCR’ still flood right back when I retread that old ground. And no summer soundtrack would be sorted without the inclusion of delightful ‘Islands’. And the outfit’s successes continued upon releasing ‘Coexist’ in 2012 and ‘I See You’ in 2017.
Although Romy, Jamie and Oliver have all done plenty of musical things separately now, it’s their coming together as The xx (with Baria) when the most exciting ripples are created. So, stop what you’re doing — why not go right back and savour these belting offerings all over again?
Here’s an amuse-bouche to get you acquainted (if you somehow weren’t already):
► ‘Basic Space’