The xx – “Coexist”

The xx have returned from two years of having released anything to deliver to us another astounding and exhilarating album. There are many bands out there who have tried to call themselves multi-genre based but in the end fall short. This band has blurred the lines of genres and of lead vocals to the extent that their classification in the music world does not currently fit them. “Coexist,” was released this past Tuesday in the US, which is the follow up to the band’s debut album, “xx.”

The album was release days before the official US release and was given to a single fan. The stream was then recorded on the map of the world. The one fan held onto the album for a bit more than an hour before he streamed it to the rest of the world via Facebook. From then on the arrays and lights of cities across the world began to light up as the stream was followed. The reason why this album has exceeded the debut of The xx debut album is because of the virility of it as well as the imminent near perfection of the album.

“Angels,” is the opening track of the album, which was the first single released via YouTube a few weeks ago. It is an expression of love and very positive lyrically, which is a reminder of their first hit, ‘Stars.”

Although fans hear the band straying from their natural depressing and haunting sounds and reverbs with the opening track, they return to their element with “Chained,” as the lyrics says Did I hold you too tight? Did I not let enough light in?” This is the xx we remember and the one which plays through on this album.

“Tides,” is a track which embeds its self in a more alternative genre such as, “Massive Attack,” mixed with any indie bands guitar and vocals that show the perfect blend between male and female. It begins with Madley and Smith two voices fused together until a bass drops in and a guitar with a bass drum take the track to the dark corner of relationships saying, “You leave with the tide, and I can’t stop you leaving.”

They have steered clear from their more pop-based tracks which consist of the hook and catch chorus such as, “Crystalized” and created a surreal and haunting experience with tracks such as, “Missing.”  Although the instruments make the feeling more ghastly, the lyrics add more profoundness to the tracks making them excel in immersion of the listeners. In “Sunset,” the lyrics are a deep saying, “It felt like you really knew me, now it feels like you see through me.”

Even though we still hold the group up to grimy tales of heartbreak and sadness, there are track which are the perfect evolution of the band.  Jamie Smith told SPIN Magazine, “I think ‘Swept Away’ is the one that could be played out in a club.” The track its self-starts off sounding like any other track from the band, but then with a catchy guitar riff and an electronic drum kit, it turns into a house track. The synthesizer does not play a large part of the track in comparison to the piano, making this track technoish to an extent.  This is also heard in “Reunion,” in which the track starts off with vocals and a synthesizer that create an astounding build that pushes the listener to a house track after the echoing vocals switch between Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Smith.  “I think it’s the only track on the album where we recorded just the bass and guitar and a demo of the vocals first,” told Smith to SPIN Magazine.

The album is haunting, moving, depressing and joyful all at once. You could call it a happy depression which embeds its self to listener. Last year the album to have this response with its uncanny use of instruments was, “James Blake.” This year though, this bands mix of instruments and genres make this the most profound album thus far of the year. Although there is much more to the album than depth, it is the main drive to the sadness that engulfs the listener and at the same times makes the dance beats to move to the anxious human emotion of joy. “Coexists,” is a unique masterpiece which although is not perfect, its tiny flaws make it that much more of a real album, not just a studio and exemplarily produced album, but a symbol that there is real music left in the world.


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