This is going to have to be one of those bandwagon posts I’m afraid, but with very good reason. The xx have, at least in my eyes, come out of nowhere to take the world (of blogs) by storm. Amongst last year’s NME-fuelled explosion of “Gloom-Rock”, we were subjected to hateful platitudes towards copyist bands like White Lies and Glasvegas, both with only one or two really good songs between them. But their brand of gloom was overblown, pushed forwards by booming bass and anthemic choruses, and if you really think about it, is that what “gloom” sounds like? The xx are the ones to really nail it for me. Sparse arrangements, whispered vocals and silence add up to make up for not only gloomy, but really freaking brilliant pop songs. My favourite at the moment is the band’s debut single, “Crystalised” with its interchanging boy-girl vocals that never become twee, its ever-increasing sound and the eventual culmination into a brilliant verse of two separate vocal tracks on top of one another before a gradual slow down of everything draws it to a close. With talk already of an album to get into everyone’s “best of” lists, The xx have certainly charmed the bloggers, and will hopefully manage that with everyone else too before long.

The xx – Crystalised (YSI)

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