Indie British pop band releases second album

Reporter

The xx’s sophomore album “Coexist” might lead us to believe they are not as glum as we thought.  

 

The xx is a trio of young adults from the London area who dress in all black. Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim, Jamie Smith wrote their first album, self-titled “The xx,” around the age of 16.

 

The songs were laid back and sad, yet beautifully arranged. They became critical darlings immediately upon its release.  Their sound was unexpected pop, not afraid of dead space.  The xx won The Barclaycard Mercury Prize for Best Album in 2010.   

The Mercury Prize, a highly prestigious award, celebrates the best album of the year from British and Irish artists. The winner is picked on the night of the award ceremony.

 

Artists who have previously won The Mercury Prize include Suede, Portishead and Pulp. They are all imaginative and progressive artists.

“Coexist,” The xx’s second album, sounds a bit sweeter.  At its first listen it may sound like an old friend, but upon listening deeper there are layers and layers of undiscovered sounds.

 

The more into the tracks you get, there seems to be rolling thunder in their sounds of laid back melodic pop.  

 

Smith, commonly referred to as Jamie xx, has moved well out of his comfort zone for “Coexist.” Croft and Sim’s vocals also seem more polished this time around.  

 

They sing about love and relationships in many stages.  At times they seem to speak to one another, and at other times we are listening to their own separate stories.  

 

When releasing “Coexist,” The xx, who always play outside the box, went with a new approach. They gave the album a week early to a fan, and that fan was asked to share it with friends and xx fans along the way. The streaming link had a tracker to see where and how fast the album was being distributed.

 

This was a new way of marketing an album and it succeeded in getting The xx the number one spot on the UK charts during its first week of release.

“Coexist” is a full album experience in a time when most albums are just one pop song after another.