xx (Young Turks, 08.09)
I wouldn’t say I missed the boat on this one. It is still technically 2009 as I write this. I would say that the time was not right for this ultra-cool, ultra-young, ultra-sexy, ultra-British band to come into my life. Late August I was begrudgingly embracing the good-time summer 09 fuzz-punk bands and there was no room for a band with two lower case letters. The evocative, breathy vocals of Romy Madley Croft and the subdued croon of Oliver Sim trade lines like a young, self-aware Neville and Rodstat. Sometimes harmonizing, sometimes content to trade come-ons stalk each other like the sparse, rhythm-centric bass lines and the airy, meandering guitar lines. Croft’s lovers pant more than not steals the show, showcasing her penchant for siren like sensuality on the sexual healing ode “Shelter”. The xx are a tricky band to nail down, obviously rooted in post-punk, minimalist electronica, they often stray into modern R&B especially in their keyboard/beat heavy “Basic Space”. I pray that 2010 sees the xx writing songs for Leona Lewis. Can you imagine?