A to Z 2017: THE XX


The letter X is generally evil when it comes to the A to Z Challenge, but I had the band picked out for this entry from the beginning. I first became introduced to The xx, a band formed in London, just a few years ago. Unfortunately I don't know much about them, or many of their non-mainstream songs. They currently have three albums out (one very recent), so I thought I'd share two from their debut and one from each of their subsequent releases.

Their first debut single from their album xx in 2009 was "Crystalised":

Looks like they started with four members, but dropped down to three after this album. I'm not exactly sure of the reasons or if it was amicable, though. Maybe it happened before they even produced some of these music videos for xx? Because I think the female guitarist, Baria Qureshi, is missing from "Islands":

I was curious, so I looked it up. Sounds like the other band members decided to remove her. So that's that! What I find interesting is that they didn't bother with finding a replacement, which is generally pretty standard when losing a bandmate.

Their xx release was a commercial success. After touring the band eventually went back to writing more material. The xx's follow-up album, Coexist, came out in 2012. From it, "Angels" is the single I'm most familiar with:

Admittedly, I really like The xx's style and sound, but it also seems to strike me as depressing. I'm not sure if that is the intended emotion they want derived from their music and maybe I am alone in that assessment. To be fair, their singing isn't exactly energetic and full of life. More a soft drone... of despair... just kidding! Kind of...

The band's newest studio album, I See You, just released this year. Its lead single is "On Hold":

They still have that soft, sullen sound, in my opinion. I'd imagine that is a large part of their appeal (especially among the younger generations). The new album has been met with very positive reviews and is turning out to be another successful outing for The xx.

Much of their work has been featured on soundtracks for movies and/or TV shows (and elsewhere), so the exposure has really helped spread and attract people to their music. Hopefully they keep creating more material, because I really like them. However, I wonder if they might try sounding a little happier? Maybe they do on the tracks I'm not familiar with?. I'll have to find out...

Are you familiar with The xx? Did you enjoy the songs/videos? Do you have a favorite song and/or album? Have you ever seen them live? If so, how was the performance? Do you enjoy their dark, sullen, sound or do you sometimes find it depressing? Do you know many bands who have lost members, but not replaced them?