The xx are an English band that formed in 2009. The band has released three albums; 2009’s xx, 2012’s Coexist, and it’s latest I See You on January 13th, 2017. The band has received critical and commercial praise from the media for their poppy blend of electronica, R&B, and rock with influences that range from Jimi Hendrix to Siouxse and the Banshees, to Aaliyah.
The xx grew up together and offer an intimacy through their music that is rarely heard. There has been much anticipation for their new record, and now that it has been released, we are going to take a deeper look at the band.
Here are 5 fast facts you need to know about The xx:
1. The xx Won the Mercury Prize in 2010 for it’s Debut Album xx
The Mercury Prize is awarded to the band with the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. The xx’s debut was released in 2009 and was instantly met with critical and commercial praise going on to sell 1.7 million copies. The record made multiple “best of” lists for for a number of magazines including Rolling Stone (9), and NME (13). The band was also named one of MTV Iggy’s “Top 10 Bands with Buzz” at the CMJ Music Marathon in 2009.
The xx produced their debut record themselves in a small garage on the side of the XL Recordings Studio. The band went on to play at multiple high-profile festivals in 2010 including; Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits further cementing their rising status. After the band won the Mercury Prize, their album sales of xx jumped 269% with XL Recordings reporting shipments of 40,000 CD’s in the days and weeks following the award.
2. The Music on The xx’s Debut Record was used on Multiple Television Shows and Marketing Campaigns
With the enormous success of xx, the music of the album began showing up all over television. Songs on the record showed up on multiple shows including: 24/7, Person of Interest, Cold Case, Suits, Hung, and 90210.. Music was also used during NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the Karl Lagerfeld Fall/Winter 2011 fashion show.
In 2010, the song “Intro” was used by the BBC during it’s general election coverage, and before the UEFA Euro 2012, and UEFA Euro 2016 soccer matches in Poland and Ukraine. Samples of xx songs have also been featured on Rihanna’s record Talk That Talk.
3. The xx Curated the 2013 Night+Day festival
The band’s global success turned them into household names among the festival circuit. The xx also had the unique opportunity to curate three festival-style concerts of their own entitled Night+Day in 2013. The concerts were held in Berlin, Lisbon, and London and featured bands and DJ sets with the festival culminating in a concert by the band.
Night+Day was an all day affair and showcased bands as diverse as London Grammar, Polica, Kindness, and Solange. Lead singer Jamie xx also performed a DJ set showcasing his talents outside of the band.
4. The Band Released it’s New Record, I See You, on January 13th, 2017
Following the band’s second record, Coexist, they took a much-needed break to focus on other projects. They began recording sessions in November of 2015 with the band sharing a playlist and tour dates prior to the 2016 holiday season.
The xx was featured as the musical guest on the November 19th, 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live performing the songs “On Hold” and “I Dare You”. Second single “Say Something Loving” was released on January 2nd with the album released on January 13th, 2017.
The band has said that the I See You record offers a more positive and open vibe than on previous records. Critics have agreed with that sentiment with The LA Times calling the record “a brighter, more vivid affair.” The band will be appearing on The Tonight Show on January 17th and have announced a worldwide tour to coincide with the release of the record.
I See You Track Listing is Below:
2.”Say Something Loving”
4.”A Violent Noise”
7.”Brave for You”
9.”I Dare You”
5. The xx Recently Covered the Drake and Rihanna Track “Too Good”
The xx pull influences from many differnt artists, genres and styles. The band recently performed a soft, and wistful, version of Drake and Rihanna’s dancehall classic “Too Good” live on BBC 1’s Live Lounge.
The band’s bassist, Oliver Sim, went on to say “We love this song”, “We have taken it to a different place – it’s maybe not as danceable, but we hope you enjoy it.” The band has been very vocal about their love of Drake and even titled their new album after watching him perform live.