August 28, 2009
Introducing: The xx
The xx have been straight blowing up the blogsphere right now. You can't go on to Hype Machine or Elbo.ws without seeing their name at the top of every list. And that was before Pitchfork just slapped their self-titled debut album with its "Best New Music" label. If anything the hype is UNDERstated. This is the most exciting debut album I have heard since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah self-released their debut in 2005. I can only hope that the xx do a better job following up this debut than CYHSY has. But all signs point towards them being able to. The average age in this band is 20! (20...is this as depressing to you as it is to me) To paraphase a good friend, they are the Le Bron Jameses of indie electro alienation. These guys have nowhere to go but up and the maturity they show on this album is mindblowing. Unlike CYHSY, the xx already has an incredibly cohesive and distinct sound. They have clear influences from Massive Attack and Portishead, but their combination of electro, r&b even some bossanova is so focused every single note is precisely positioned to serve an emotive purpose. The dualing male-female singing (remenisant of Stars) is their calling card - both voices are strikingly beautiful and able to evoke staggering emotional complexity given their young age.
Listening to a debut album like this is why I love music, why I am obsessed with it and always looking for that new song, that new sound that will leave me completely speechless. The xx have crafted a nearly flawless and perfect debut - listen and enjoy!
"Basic Space", "Islands" and "Crystalized" are essential starter tracks: LINK