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The xx channels raw emotion in new album, ‘Coexist’

Sometimes less is more in relationships, especially in the musician-listener bond. Is it really necessary for performers to share small anecdotes about their diet tactics or tour bus fiascos, or participate in a billion interviews about their self-obsessed selves? Perhaps for small pop performers, yes. But in best case scenarios, the music should speak for itself.

As far as I’m concerned, one of the bare-boned purposes of music is intimacy – not to be found in mainstream artists’ gimmicks, couture wardrobes or strobe lights. Music is a social lubricant for this unique type of connection, earned only when musicians seamlessly deliver articulately raw emotion.

This is precisely why The xx is indubitably my favorite band. It excels at channeling this cause. The kind that takes love (the main theme of the album) and sticks it into someone lse’s heart, pumping someone else’s blood, as Regina Spektor once suggested, and then places it next to speakers so listeners can experience it, too. The kind that gives you goosebumps pre-words (refer to their “Intro” track on their debut album) and shivers throughout their tracks thanks to relatable lyrics. The kind where depth descends to levels you never thought possible, tickling your innermost empathic side. The kind that traps you in music for the duration of the disc and then sets you free to dissect the sounds and relate them to your own life.

This type of refuge for candid emotion is particularly salient in their new album “Coexist,” released September 11. Clad with steel drums and the occasional pop riff, half of the album proposes a fresh, upbeat pace. The remaining tracks highlight the band’s lullaby-like melodies and soft, sensual feel.

Hailing from the U.K., The xx will appear onstage at First Avenue on Friday, October 19 as part of their 2012 North American Tour. The show was sold out within the first few days of ticket sales.

Personal favorite tracks: “Chained,” “Fiction” and “VCR” off of their debut album, xx.   

Bri attends St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and is majoring in Psychology with concentrations in Media Studies and Women's Studies. She is most passionate about writing, traveling, cooking, hand-written letters and cheering on the Minnesota Vikings and Wisconsin Badgers. In her free time, she enjoys running, photography, attempting to blog and spending time with her amazing family and friends. She is currently an Arts & Entertainment Editor for the St. Olaf College newspaper with the lovely Lucy Casale and aspires to further explore the field of journalism after graduation.
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