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The xx - 'Angels'

A heart-meltingly perfect follow-on from their debut

The best artists are the ones that you can believe in fully. It’s like, how Jack White isn’t anything but the über-controlling guitar-shredding Willy Wonka of garage-rock. It’s why Lady Gaga can’t wear jeans or why Madonna never says sorry (even about releasing an album titled ‘MDNA’). The xx have got that magic, too. You really can imagine them staying up late, watching VCRs and whispering to someone that they’re crushing on them hard. Or being frozen with desire. Or making it better “with the lights turned off”.

Their sharp all-black uniforms are so instantly recognisable that the website Hipster Runoff went as far as dedicating a post to the first time Oliver Sim swapped a black shirt for one with a bit of red on. New track ‘Angels’, then, a free download from second LP ‘Coexist’, builds on their myth. The perfect follow-on from their debut (and lead into the loved-up tone of this one), Romy spools heart-melting lyrics like “they would be as in love with you as I am” and “I think I’m ready, as long as you’re with me”, while Jamie shows that he’s still as good at making sparse, reverberating, soul-rattling beats as he is making clubs bump with his steel-pan-heavy solo records.

As recent gigs prove, when a beauty like this sits next to new richer, deeper productions, it makes for an even more hero-worship-inspiring kind of WOW.
Siân Rowe

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