Archive for the 'xx The' Category

The new UK rage: Minimalist Rock

Overall, I thought 2009 was a great year for music. Animal Collective and the Flaming Lips wrote some cool stuff (including the lips’ outrageous nudist music video for ‘watching the planets’), the badassery that is Them Crooked Vultures was born, and a group of four 20-year-olds from the UK released an awesome debut album. I am talking about, of course, The xx – who represent one of the more interesting stylistic trends of late: Minimalist Rock.

On my first listen I was taken aback by the simplicity of the xx – whose debut album goes by the same name. But then again I guess that would be the whole point of minimalist rock. Using only a drum machine, bass, guitar, and synth, this band manages to convey a lot through a little. Key to the band’s sound are the dueling vocals of the the xx’s singers Madly Croft and Oliver Sim. Much of the songs’ lyrical content has to do with interpersonal relations and sex, so having the male and female vocal trade-offs are actually very effective. The synth and heavily reverbed guitar additionally add a haunting element to the band’s sound, combining to make an atmosphere you won’t soon forget. Highlights include the songs “VCR” and “Crystalized.” I’m digging it, see for yourself.

– Chris

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