On my way up to NYC to have a word with these guys for an upcoming Magnet cover story and check out their formerly super-secret show at Snug Harbor, so we shant be updating much today. In mean time, check out this unofficial video for first single from the forthcoming Coexist, set for release on September 11th on XL Recordings.
ROLLING STONE: Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and drummer/keyboardist Jamie Smith performed in front of a giant translucent “X” filled with smoke. All dressed in black and playing black instruments, they often looked as if they were trying to vanish in the backlighting and the clouds of vapor. As a result, small gestures, like Sim saying “Thank you” or Madley Croft finally looking out into the crowd, had an outsized impact. When the group finished “Stars” with a white-noise raveup, finally filling in the empty spaces of their songs, it felt as if pyrotechnics were going off on stage, even though there were just a few lonely pieces of confetti falling from the ceiling. MORE
VILLAGE VOICE: Walking down the long stretch of mostly empty streets and avenues to Terminal 5’s hangar-like space taught concertgoers that the $50 tickets were being scalped for about five times their worth; a woman working the box office said that she had a pile of at least 200 fake tickets. The show was so hyped that yesterday afternoon, the Mercury Prize winners announced another concert for New York residents on Monday at the Music Hall at Snug Harbor on Staten Island. This all is not too surprising, really. It was The xx’s first NYC performance in about two years, and their second album Coexist finally comes out in September, more than three years after their 2009 debut. MORE
THE FADER: The big question for The xx has been: how will they progress? They’ve said the sparse aesthetics of their debut album were arrived at mostly by accident and necessity—a byproduct of their lack of musical skill and young voices, an affinity for practicing via the dull audio of Skype. But three years after that album and the million shows and infinite accolades that came with it, it’s hard to play possum. So they didn’t. But while their stage show is tremendous and surely their confidence and chops are much improved, their physicality is not dissimilar. This provides a bit of a puzzle. Their demureness is part of the appeal, but that quietude makes it difficult for them to hold the attention of the audience at such an enormous venue. When they performed songs from their debut, as they spent most of the show doing, they were leaders in a singalong and actors in a set piece for smart phone snapshots. The latter is not atypical of any performance in 2012, sure, but the incessant photographing made them into a special event as much as a band. Smartly, they know this and they have the light show to justify it. Still, it would have been better at a warmer venue. The best moments were the largest and loudest ones, which is not often true for them on record. The tiny complexities of The xx were not tailor made for a place with multiple balconies, and most people talked through the new songs. MORE