I’m slumped carelessly on the backseat of the bus, gazing out of the window, my eyes glassily overlook the blur of the City’s lights. My mind switches off and I sit there comfortably, in no real rush to get home. The album to which I feel completely immersed by is xx by The XX. In my eyes, the perfect album to listen to whilst on a journey.
Whether it’s walking home from your mate’s in the rain, or getting the bus home from dreary Manchester like me, xx can enrapture you with feelings you never knew you had about your relationships. Xx begins with ‘intro’, a two-minute taster teasing you for what the rest of the album might hold; no words, only the occasional murmur between male and female vocalists and a hint at the ethereal.
The XX were first brought to my attention back in secondary school, due to the recommendation of my friend’s older brother. His undeniably more widespread knowledge of different genres of music allowed us to discover bands and artists we probably never would have if we were only exposed to the chart music liked by our classmates. Something you can only be thankful for as you grow older.
‘Heart Skipped a Beat’ was my favourite track back in 2009 and it still is now. Syncopated claps are overlapped with minimalistic guitar riffs, and the harmonious voices of Romy and Oliver truthfully depict emotions of heartbreak and loss we have all felt in some sort of way. In fact, the entirety of xx feels like a sombre, yet honest rendition of human emotion, whether its feelings of pain like in ‘Heart Skipped a Beat’ or feelings of love and desire like in ‘VCR’ – every track feels veracious and pure.
The theme of deteriorating relationships in the form of imaginary scenarios reoccurs in Coexist, their second album. An album to which I frequently listen to before going to sleep: lying on my bed, eyes closed, letting the stress and anxiety from that day drift away with the soothing call and response of the vocalists.
When I listen to ‘Chained’ and ‘Angels’, two of the most successful songs on the album, I am in complete admiration of Romy’s vocals. Her uniquely profound and gentle tone is something that inspires me when I sing. If only I had someone to provide beautifully melancholic harmonies over me too!
In a few months time, their new album ‘I see you’ will be released and I cannot wait to discover what this album will mean to me at this stage in my life.