The xx released their second full length album, Coexist in September, adding to their stark, plodding collection. The British group’s first album was intricate, with impulsive and full-bodied tracks leaving room for interpretation. Coexist follows suit, but is steadier, and less impactful.
Singers Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim mesh well and allow room for imagining the scenes they create with their hopeless lyrics. The phrasing is relatable and almost solely focused on broad relationship pains. The lyrics pulse with desperation as they fall into phrases like, “We used to be closer than this,” and “And now there’s no hope for you and me.”
Swept Away is the one surprise on the album, with its pleasant upbeat percussion and diverse clapping patterns. Starkly different from the rest of the album, its dancey and positive lyrics, “I’m soothed by you, you take it all away,” remind me of the xx I loved from round one.
Try’s intro tip toes into a gorgeous piece, initially alluding to heart break, but closing with, “And if we try once more, would you give me your all?”
Songs like Reunion and Fiction pick up midway through, showing that the xx isn’t whole-heartedly opposed of having a good time. The entire album tumbles into one, vibrating into a solid piece with few levels, but constant emotion.
Coexist feels like rain on a Sunday afternoon – dismal, but encompassing. The subtlety of the emotions will drive repeat listens of this album, but I’m excited for a potential new release, maybe one where they sing about relationships that work out in the end.