So its Monday after a long weekend, I know it’s tough. But something to get your through the week is on FRIDAY we have THE LIBERATION night. How freaking fantastic right? So we are sorry we have been away for so long, but we promise to bring you an amazing DJ set. And since we have a sort of talent scout for new opportunities and cooler parties coming to check it out we ask that YOU PLEASE come to the party so we can bring you many more great events. And bring 10 friends. All details here.
So now onto the music. So I know I have raved heavily about The XX from their debut album to my excitement about their performance at Open’er Festival and of course the wait around their new album. But I could not resist writing another post now that it is finally out.
We love The XX because they are so different, because in their calm way they excite and because they are minimalistic and yet so effective. And of course they embodied all of this with the build up to their album release.
The album will officially be released tomorrow (YIKES!) but over the last week they have offered free streaming through their site (and partner site). But not only were they avant-garde by offering free streaming of the entire album they partnered it with a world map that tracks how the album is being shared. Apparently at first only released to a single fan you can use the timeline to see how the album quickly took over world domination. It aims at making you feel connected and part of the community of The XX fans around the world which is a genius concept.
I can happily that the first South African share was from me – lets light up AFRICA!
Now about the album, obviously I have listened to it on repeat non-stop. So first thing I noticed is that the iconic minimalists have out done themselves. It is more simple, more hidden, the sounds seem more and more to be coming from space. This album is much more of a grower than the first listen love-struck effect of their debut album.
What I love The XX the most is that they are hugely popular and thus an album so slow but exciting, so simple but effective can teach people around the world that the beauty is in the detail. This album is rich, and every listen makes you appreciate each of their careful crafted sounds more and more. This is personal, this is intimate, this is their souls being opened. There is something so vulnerable about their Romy and Oliver’s duo confessions (that is such a contrast from their closed and protected appearance) and Jamie XX after all the attention he has gotten has grown several steps in his ability to produce and mix and merge sound in an unearthly way.
So after a few listens sound start to touch you in a really special way. For example your heart skips a beat (see what I did there) as the climax comes in on Reunion after a pause of silence, that’s when you really want to praise Jamie’s work (1:57) – the most upbeat song on the album that will make you want to move. The use of repetition in that song is also beautiful.
The silent pause is also done in Missing (1:20). Which is a much slower and heartbreaking song to start but steps up with power after the silent break and exposes Oliver’s pain and sorrow as he sings my heart is beating in a different way. I also love how the duo swap their background wailing from Romy to Oliver.
You will also look forward to the upbeat Sunset (that beautiful come in after Reunion) that drills the line
I always thought it was a shame, that we have to play these games.
Not to mention the guitar solos.
As you may remember I am obsessed when girl and guy duo sing together, and this is done very effectively to close the beautiful Try when they sing:
You know the way I, can’t resist you, say to myself I’m trying.
Strangely I am addicted to what possibly is the simplest lyrical song. I’m not a big fan of mushy cliché lyrics. And on face value that is what is sung in Our Song. But nothing coming from The XX with the sincerity of their voice can seem that way, neither is the beauty of the background mix done coming in from 0:46. And all I tend to repeat in my head is:
You know I know your heart, I want to mend your heart.
Now I invite you to give it a go. You can find it everywhere by now – including Spotify.
And remember – it just gets better.
I wish I could make a soundtrack to my life and breathe in the notes every day