The xx sophomore album Coexist plays like a vintage cinematic memory.
The xx dropped their highly anticipated follow up album, Coexist, on September 11th 2012 after the record had been streaming on npr music weeks prior. The south London trio supersedes any expectations after the release of their acclaimed debut album three years ago. They keep true to their warm however chilling sound that lures us in from the moment we hit play. Coexist provides a tantalizing soundtrack that allows us to peek into a colorful vignettes made up of heart wrenching intimate relationships.
Upon first listen Coexist washes over me like a vintage cinematic memory invoking an unshakeable feeling in my subconscious, a deep buried void I longed to have filled. Breathy tracks like Sunset, Tides, Our Song capture how ex-lovers communicate with each other esquistically bleeding into one another like chapters in a storybook. I kept longing for the past’s embrace, imagining that I had it only to realize I was going to have to let it go. From their pre-released song, Angel to the last track on the album, Reconsider, my desire to re-experience the plateful of emotions that came with listening over and over again kept the record on repeat. The combination of the digi drum kicks, synth keys, electronic beats and haunting lyrics depict familiar feelings of space and time. The ominous tone of the record inspires a journey of analytical thought weaving in and out of musical rapture.
Jamie, Romy and Oliver are the modest brit trio that make up The xx, a reincarnation of downtempo, lo-fi bands from the mid 90’s. Listening to their lyrics are reminiscent of reading a strangers poetic diary in secrecy. Like looking through a keyhole to catch a glimpse of someone else’s slow burning desire to regain a complicated romantic love that had been lost. Their flawless compilation of soulful cerebral sound places them on a distinguished level with acts such as Everything But the Girl, Massive Attack and Portishead. Shy and humble The xx are grateful for their crossover success, their prestigious Mercury prize and reaching a daily growing audience.
Excerpt by excerpt in order of track list.
And everyday/ I am learning about you/ The things that no one else sees/ And the end comes too soon/ Like dreaming of angels/ And leaving without them/ And leaving without them/ Being/ As in love with you as I am
We used to be closer than this/ Is it something you miss/ Winged or chained/ I ask you/ Would you have stayed/ Did I hold you too tight/ Did I not let enough light in
And as you’re turning/ I don’t know what to tell/ I know your face all too well/ Still I wake up alone/ Fiction/
When we’re not together
Now it’s dead and gone/ You say what you would’ve done / You would’ve been there, I wish you’d be there/ I needed you there
When it’s burning inside, do you give it up?/ How long should I wait?/ There’s no need to hide when there’s only you and he
*** 06 Sunset
I always thought it was sad/ The way we act like strangers/ After all we had/ We act like we had never met/
And we believe/ I’ve never seen a face to be a/ I’ll catch my/ And register a smile/ You were more than just a friend/ Oh, but if I knew you/ It never came to an end/ I can’t wait to see you
My heart is beating in a different way/ Been gone such a long time and I feel the same/ My heart is beating in a different way/ Been gone such a long time
Hold me close when you could leave us alone/ Why would you just leave us alone/ When we could be close, close, close
*** 09 Unfold
In my head/ You tell me things you’ve never said/ And I choose to forget/ And take the good and leave the rest
**10 Swept Away
You’re out of the sky, a shadow at morn/ The moments we shared always end too soon./ None of this fades away even when you’re gone away./ I’m so far away yet you feel so near.
**** 11 Our Song
And there’s no one else/ That knows me/ Like you do/ All I’ve done, you’ve done too/ The walls I hide behind/ You walk through
You reappear like you’d never been gone/ I lose composure/ You’re touching me like you have no desire for closure
Coexist is breathes perfection from beginning to end. A rollercoaster ride into a voyage of emotion creating definitive pleasantries to hear.
Remaining Tour Dates:
10-05 Vancouver, British Columbia – Vogue Theatre
10-06 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater
10-07 Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
10-10 Las Vegas, NV – The Pool at the Cosmopolitan
10-11 San Diego, CA – Soma
10-12 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
10-13 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Forever Cemetery
10-14 San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island Fest
10-16 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
10-17 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
10-19 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
10-20 Chicago, IL – Congress Theater
10-21 Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theatre
10-24 Quebec City, Quebec – Imperial De Quebec
10-25 Boston, MA – House of Blues
10-28 Bronx, NY – Paradise Theater
10-29 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
10-30 Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live