The XX marks the spot with Coexist


Bomin Choi, Contributing Writer

The English indie pop band referred to as The xx, may have been recently heard in soundtracks to films such as Project X and coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

In 2009, The xx, introduced themselves to the music industry with their debut album xx.

Despite the indie music scene being full of heavy hitters such as Grizzly Bear and Passion Pit, and Menomena, The xx were able to stand out from the crowd and make a name for themselves with their polished, well-produced sound that persists in their second studio album, Coexist.

During their time in high school, vocalist/guitarist Romy Madley Croft, bassist/vocalist Oliver Sim and drummer Janie Smith came together to form their original band, The xx.

At the time of the band’s beginnings, back in their high school days, the trio did not foresee that their music would one day earn them the Mercury Prize of 2009 and nominations for “Best British Breakthrough” and “Best British Band” at the 2011 BRIT awards.
The newly released Coexist retains many of the same qualities as its predecessor, xx, such as the characteristically minimalist sound, female/male vocal responses, and heart-wrenching melancholy lyrics.

Also making a return to Coexist is more of the same funky electronic beats that made some tracks on xx as memorable as they were; the track Intro specifically.

When compared to modern pop music, The xx is definitely unique due to the emphasis they place on simple guitar melodies and steady beats.

Each melody is intertwined with delicate, catchy hooks, as are heard in the hit “Reunion.” Within this track, steel drums accompany a soft beat and the track is topped off with Madley’s soft voice.

This quality makes listeners realize how large an effect minimalism has on its audience.

The genuine ambiance in this album mainly originates from the emotional narrative in each track. Altogether, Coexist consists of a a compilation of heart wrenching vignettes, as each track tells its own story.

In many ways, The xx can be easily categorized to its own specific musical style, and individual descriptions of their style may vary greatly.

Nonetheless, the album’s surreal sound is definitely something worth checking out.