Artist of the Week: The xx


Emily Porat

The xx, an indie band, was started in London by Oliver Sim and Romy Madley-Croft when they were 15.  Baria Qureshi joined the band in 2005, when they started touring, and Jamie Smith a year later.  Although Qureshi left the band in 2009, The xx has remained fabulous.  The xx is very popular on Tumblr, a blogging website, but they have yet to surface in the more mainstream social media arena. They have had two albums released to ITunes: ‘xx,’ in August of 2009, and ‘Coexist,’ September 10th, 2012.

Every song on ‘xx’ is completely different, but the mysterious, echoey sound The xx has mastered perfectly is constant.  The underlying theme to this album is love, and the complexities, troubles, and pleasure it brings.


‘Intro,’ the first song on ‘xx,’ is their most popular song. In ‘Intro,’ The xx manages to create a great tune without any lyrics, which is a difficult task.  While ‘Islands’ and ‘Heart Skipped a Beat,’ have a sunnier feel, the slower ‘Infinity,’ and ‘Night Time,’ give off a melancholy tone.  ‘Stars,’ gets props for the thousands of girls using “If you love me, let me know,” line as their profile picture caption on facebook.  But the sweet simplicity of ‘VCR’ wins the prize for being one of my favorite songs on ‘xx.’ Here are some of my favorite lyrics:

We watch things on VCR’s
With me and talk about big love
I think we’re superstars
You say you think we are the best thing
And you, you just know
You just do

I wanna find myself by the sea
In anothers company
By the sea
I wanna go out to the pier
I’m gonna dive and have no fear
Cos you, you just know
You just do

I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to watch old movies on VCR’s and hang out by the ocean?  They even threw a xylophone in that song, showing how different they are from mainstream music. While auto-tune is truly beautiful in its own way, I prefer something a little different in my music.  And well, if a xylophone doesn’t bring you back to your childhood, then nothing will.

And after three years of writing, ‘Coexisit’ was finally released on September 12, 2012.  This marks the day that every tumblr user raced to their laptop and made an edit of the xx album cover. Some particularly cool ones can be found here:

With this release came 61 precious minutes of new material.  This album does not stray from their original sound, but with the new release, they sound more polished and professional.  The low beats and whispery vocals of The xx prove to be a winning combination.  Among the most popular songs are ‘Fiction,’ ‘Chained,’ and ‘Sunset,’ but some of my favorites on this album are ‘Angels,’ and ‘Our Song.’  They both have the gravely, echoey sound that defined ‘xx,’ separating them from the rest of the tracks.

    The xx has imparted a lot of quality wisdom on its listeners, but one of my favorite quotes is from ‘Fiction,’ and is:  “Fiction when we’re not together/Mistaken for a vision, something of my own creation/I wake up alone, with only daylight between us.”  They’re just so darn #artsy, aren’t they?  All in all,  The xx is an incredible band who continues to inspire every day.