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The xx: Shy Successors to the Smiths

The xx

The xx

The xx

Who Are They?

The xx are three 20-year-olds from South London who make predominantly slow, furtive dreampop music, mostly about heartbreak. They are also one of the stranger recipients of UK hype in recent memory.

What’s So Great?

Jamie Smiths‘ technical work is like listening to a cross between Postal Services and Antenna-era Jay-Jay Johanson without all the self-loathing and colorfulness. Moody and engaging – perfect for the whispery vocals. Oliver Sim‘s remind me of the first I heard Morrissey’s voice in “How Soon is Now” at age 14. Seductive and more mature than his youthful appearances let on. Romy Madley Croft‘s sexual ambiguity hides a voice reminscent of the Blow’s Khaela Maricich and Stevie Nicks – melodically pure.

The xx

The xx

The music the trio produced is like heartache and shyness. They are the grandchildren of The Smiths and the second cousins of Interpol – music which projects an uncomfortable feeling on the listener.  While The Smiths were influence by black girl groups of the 60’s, The xx are strongly influenced by modern R&B. Which is not entirely heard in Jamie Smiths’ drum machine (though you can hear a little Timbaland), it can be heard in the lyrics.

If you enjoy any of the musicians I’ve mentioned in this post, watch this music video “Island” below.  While most people only see the repetitiveness of the choreography, this video reinforces the sense of love-lost of the song.

One Response

  1. you are an interesting fella

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