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Listening to “XX” is an uncomfortable, obtrusive experience, akin to eavesdropping on two lovers while they whisper and caress. So intimate are the songs contained within that at the very least, you feel you should turn away your face to hide your shame. In fact, it’s impossible to talk about The XX without talking about sex. Like so many bed sheets strewn across the floor, Romy and Oliver’s duets are littered with sexual anxiety, claustrophobia and desire and their take on romance is a particularly urban one, more council high rise and public transport than the Crystal and Gucci version favoured by the R&B they love so much. “XX” is a debut album that’s old beyond its tender years but such is its fragility, it’s only when the final note of “Stars”, the albums closing track has dissolved that we can breathe again, relieved that we’ve made it to the end, safe and in each other’s arms.
Darryl says: An intimate listen, and one that makes it perfect for the winter months. Sparse to the point to the point of fragility their debut album is moody, menacing and downright brilliant.
5. Heart Skipped A Beat
8. Basic Space
10. Night Time