I’ve been listening to The XX’s new album titled Coexist on the Young Turks label. Coexist builds on the group’s vocal interplay, rolling bass, and reverb laden guitar with a richer musical sound. The production quality has noticeably improved, especially in the vocals.
While the first album brought these minimalist artists to light at a young age, the second album further strips the group’s layering of sound. You certainly get a more intimate sound and rendering of these artists as a band. I must applaud this since it really gets to the heart of their musical expression. While some musicians would feel naked with less backing instrumentation, The XX still maintain a soulful connection and expression. Just don’t expect varying beats and grooves reminiscent of the first album. The XX decided to strip their sound and work on a slower almost meandering album. New instrumentation like steel drums on the track Reunion provide a light and floating effect that complement the gentle vocal parts. Reverb quality is stellar, and deep bass drums extend like never before. The track Tides incorporates a simple beat, but they lock in a groove with spaced vocals that beg for your attention. Although the first album is my favorite, I highly recommend checking out this album on CD and LP.