The English indie-pop trio that makes up The xx is notorious for their smooth sound, subtle instruments and hushed vocals.
Much like their first self-titled album, Coexist takes the two singers’ (Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim) unique duet dynamic and creates the symphonic and harmonious result that is the 11-track album.
The album begins with the song Angels, a love song redefined by simplicity and soft vocals. Removed from the cacophony that is pop music, Angels brings the true taste of minimalism to modern music.
Similarly, as the album progresses, songs flow seamlessly from one track to the next, staying away from the complicated music that tends to steer listeners away from the vocals.
Throughout the album, the duo sings over the keyboard and percussion-based music with lyrics that haunt. Alluding to human experience, The xx’s lyrics take a metaphorical turn to express the daily experience.
With both male and female vocals, the balance of perspective is unparalleled in other pop music. Without seeming to, the band shares the perspective with their voices and lyrics. On the track titled Tides, the two sing synonymously for the first few seconds, before trading off each line.
Madley Croft’s honey-like voice with Sim’s raspy-tone singing “You leave with the tide/ And I can’t stop you leaving,” alongside simple percussion beats and faded sound makes for a completely singular sound.
All 37 minutes of Coexist present the work of the young band coming, very successfully, into their second album.