Front duo of guitarist Romy Madley Croft and bassist Oliver Sim sing in soft, hushed voices, tossing lyrics between them like conspirators finishing each others sentences, occasionally joining together in unison mumbles.It makes for an odd but effective boy-girl dynamic, like eavesdropping a lovers’ secret conversation.
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The tracklist was announced on Jamie xx's Instagram where he posted a bunch of random colors and within each picture was a hashtag. Smith took to the British airwaves yesterday to premiere two new songs from the LP - "Gosh" and "Loud Places" with Annie Mac on BBC Radio One.
That hashtag linked to a collage of more images with the same color and the track title is found within the tiles. "Loud Places" was premiered as the hottest record in the world and you can listen to it below and short interview after where Smith says his emotions about releasing the album range from, "relief, exciting and extremely scary." some time in June. Expect to hear some more new music from Jamie xx this weekend as the "Girl" producer takes over the BBC Radio One's revered Essential Mix show for a special back-to-back edition with Four Tet.
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When the Mercury Prize was announced this week, the xx were quickly installed as bookies favourites.
Actually, they were favourites before the shortlist was even announced, topping every critic’s list of predictions.
There are more established names up for the prize (Paul Weller, Dizzee Rascal, Corinne Bailey Rae) but the xx have been taking the music world by stealth not storm, creeping up on the slow lane with one of the most original yet seductively approachable debut albums in recent memory.
It never even broke into the UK top thirty (peaking at number 31, although that is likely to change now) but it has already quietly notched up over 150,000 British sales, with another 179,000 in America (where it just scraped into the top 100, at number 92). Everything about the xx is low key and understated. Indeed, so minimalistic is the xx’s ethos that when keyboard player Baria Qureshi left right before a gig, they opted not to replace her, instead boiling down their already basic arrangements to accommodate a three piece of drums, bass and guitar. It was strange to watch them in that context, performing to a packed marquee, the stage so dark you could barely make out the unsmiling trio dressed in black.
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If you want my future forget my past, If you wanna get with me better make it fast, Now don't go wasting my precious time, Get your act together we could be just...
- If you want my future forget my past, If you wanna get with me better make it fast, Now don't go wasting my precious time, Get your act together we could be just...
Influence is a fluid concept, so rather than simply tipping our caps to the legends (again), we set out to quantify which are the biggest influences on today’s music scene.