The first time British indie pop band The xx swung in to open for Florence + The Machine at The Esplanade, their luscious sound was ‘crystalised’ in our memories. Three years on, they’re coming back for a full-fledged gig – off the back of their second album ‘Coexist’ – at The Star Performing Arts Centre on 2 August.
Following the release of their self-titled debut ‘The xx’, which stunned with its ambient soundscapes and dreamy, murmuring beats, the young trio quickly fell into the front line of the music industry. Their songs worked their way into popular TV shows like ‘Cold Case’ and ‘Suits’, and they won the Mercury Prize for best album in 2010 – a huge accomplishment for a band just hitting their mid-twenties.
‘Coexist’ rocks up much in the same vein. Recorded by the band themselves in an empty office space, it’s soft, whispery tracks like ‘Angels’ make use of minimal instruments and milk the poignant back-and-forth vocals of Oliver Sim and Madley Croft. This time it’s anchored in Sim’s personal experience, resulting in a more introspective and grown up vibe.
In the flesh, the band is as enigmatic as they sound – normally head-to-toe in black on a dimly lit stage and subtly wrapping the audience in their moody melodies. It might not sound that compelling visually but as their music takes more drastically striking shapes live, it’s safe to say that xx will mark the sweet spot.