Abebe: On Coexist, the xx Stay Intimate by Getting Grander

” … it feels almost staggeringly unusual, in 2012, for a band to reach relative pop success — their 2009 debut has sold nearly 400,000 copies and bewitched fans across several genres — with a palette this fixed, limited, and considered. Even the most staid of rock bands pile on different guitar textures; meanwhile, most acts with this much studio acumen thrive on being fleet-footed, able to conjure up entirely new worlds of sound every two minutes. The xx hangs eternally in a single, precious equilibrium, a fine-tuned thing that, like most minimalist art, is likely the result of endless, tiring work, nudging things carefully left and right until the ideal compositional proportions are reached: Everything in its right place, and no extraneous sounds for any imperfections to hide behind.”

(Photo / Alexandra Waespi)