xx, The - Coexist [LP] (download, die cut gatefold, and bonus visualizer)
The xx exist in a time and space of their own making. In 2009 the south London trio's debut
album 'xx', quietly made at night over the course of two years, bled steadily into the public
consciousness to become shorthand for newly refined ideas of teenage desire and anxiety.
Articulated with a maturity beyond their years, its hallmarks were restraint and ambiguity. In
the age of the over-share, 'xx' was pop with its privacy settings on max.
Three years later, Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith are back with a new album,
Coexist, and a new perspective. Where xx lent in close to whisper in your ear, Coexist gazes
warmly in your eyes. Much has happened to lead to this point: most pertinently, they've grown
Previously cast as the quietest of the three, Jamie became the public face of The xx in 2011.
In-between DJ gigs, he focused on growing his production skills, developing a distinct sound
and presence. His remix of Adele's Rolling In The Deep, re-imagining of Gil Scott-Heron's final
album on We're New Here with its defining single I'll Take Care Of U, and his debut solo single
Far Nearer set him apart as a highly regarded producer in his own right. That position was
cemented when Drake asked Jamie to produce the title track of his album 'Take Care', inspired
by I'll Take Care Of U.
Above all, though, 'Coexist' is an album of confident adult reflection. Angels, sung by Romy,
is a perfectly distilled love song. Its counter is Fiction led by Oliver, a bittersweet ballad that's
strength lies in naming its fear. What has changed for The xx? Nothing, and everything. Older
and wiser, surer yet still so tender, 'Coexist' finds itself on the other side of heartbreak, when
the light returns.