The xx has undoubtedly been touted the latest Next Big Thing. Unlike many of their predecessors, however, the young South London band seems more than ready to establish themselves as much more than just the hype. Still in their early 20s, the three members – singer Romy Madley Croft, bassist & singer Oliver Sim, and mixing master Jamie Smith – have managed to bypass the awkward self-discovery phase of most bands’ early development. Their self-produced debut LP, xx, is nuanced and impeccably polished, thoughtfully delving deep into its songs’ subjects – mostly frequently, sex. Fusing the rhythmic elements of R&B with the melodic darkness of The Pixies, The xx has a sound far more matured than their ages would suggest, and one unlike anything else out there today.
“The debut album from The xx is mesmerizing,” says Bruce Warren, Assistant General Manager of Programming for WXPN. “It’s hard to pin this band down musically; sometimes they capture the quiet sparseness of early Joy Division, the minimalist pop of Spoon, even the ambience of the Cocteau Twins. The charm of this band lies in the vocals of Madley Croft and her singing partner Oliver Sim. Yes, their voices are pretty; however, there’s a friction in their singing that heightens the simple nature of the songs that is quite engaging. The xx have a uniquely fashioned musical vision and sound.”
“I love The xx because they come across as the bona fide item,” adds Reed. “They’re a band that makes music because they want to make music, not for fashion or successful bank statements. They’re smart and unpredictable, and bring to the mix a love for a great pop song that they seem to have gathered from many different sources. Plus, they’re all in their early 20’s and write songs about sex, so they’re obviously staying true to their number one priority at that age.”
For more on the XPN Artists To Watch series and this month’s featured artist, click here.
The XPN Artists To Watch series reflects WXPN’s commitment to nurturing fresh, new talent and exposing listeners to the best new music. Each month, the XPN Artists To Watch series spotlights a different up-and-coming performer who has produced an album or body of work that demonstrates outstanding vision, creativity and songwriting ability. Month-long on-air promotion is combined with online features to help audiences discover each artist.
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe®, public radio's most popular program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O'Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service, Y-Rock On XPN as its secondary radio channel in HD that is also available online. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.