Intro to The XX


Image from the Guardian

by Atalya Williams

XX, the debut album released by the British pop-indie band The XX in 2009, holds a unique and minimalistic breed of ‘pop’ and ‘indie’ that results in music that is easy to listen to and enjoyable for all.

This album has been gifted with a smooth and sensual sound, and is very well developed and possibly intoxication on a mental level. The album offers a distinctive blend of mysterious and seductive vocals and chiming and enigmatic instrumentals in the majority of the songs except the ‘Intro’ which is purely instrumental.

While the XX has no clear ‘calling card’ song, the song ‘Intro’ has been featured in various television series including Law and Order, while other songs from the album, including ‘VCR’ and ‘Crystalized’, have also been featured in various television series including Lie to Me and Gossip Girl.

Video from YouTube


The Band
The band was formed in South-East London, and all of its members attended the Elliot School in Putney.

This unique band comprised of:
·         Romy Madley Croft – Lead Vocals and Guitar
·         Oliver Sim – Vocals and Bass
·         Jamie Smith –  Producer, mixing, MPC and beats
·         Baria Qureshi – Keyboard and Guitar

However in 2009 Baria Qureshi left the band due to ‘personal differences’.


The Album
The album XX received a Mercury Prize in 2010 and spent 87 weeks on the UK albums Chart as well as being certified platinum.  

Track Listing
1.     Intro
2.      VCR
3.      Crystalised
4.     Islands
6.      Fantasy (Lyrics by Sim)
7.      Shelter (lyrics by Croft, music by Croft, Sim and Smith) (Recently covered by Birdy)
8.      Basic Space
9.      Infinity
10.    Night Time
11.    Stars
iTunes Bonus Track
12. Hot like Fire (Aaliya Cover) 
Limited Edition Bonus Disc
1.      Tear Drops (Womack & Womack cover)
2.      Do you mind? (Paleface featuring Kyla cover)
3.      Hot Like Fire (Aaliyah cover)
4.      Blood Red Moon
5.      Insects

High Point
Each track offers a unique and eclectic sound which has been well thought out by the band. Their use of negative space, in the sense that they have no drummer, provides an interesting and somewhat eerie sound. The album shows a lot of hard work and deep thought on the part of the band. This is clearly evident in all their tracks, but specifically, ‘Night Time’.

Night Time – From YouTube

Overall this is a simply magnificent, mysterious and sensual album that is easy-listening and refreshingly different.

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