by Lauren Staten—The common question, is there sound when a tree falls but no one is there to hear it, is answered by the unobvious duo of Romy Croft and Oliver Sim.
The XX released their second album, Coexist, on September 10th, and I’m one of the few who saw this tree falling.
This album was no surprise after the first, and no disappointment. Croft and Sim keep you hanging on to every word with their slow, minimalist approach. It’s easy to picture the two sitting in an all black room with their instruments, naked, raw, pale and intent on the unusual songs. As Sim says in one of the songs, it’s “the things that no one else says.” The etched mutterings of Croft and the smoother tones of Sim is a deadly combination.
It feels like wooden souls that are being carved out in front of the listener. Painful and torn, elegant and soft. They have ventured some since the first album, applying some modern undertones to their songs; using less xylophone. But it remains familiar to their common “Basic Space” tune.
The alternative artists created a sophisticated album that is timeless. An album containing tracks that can be used in so many places. Simply painful, yet effortless. Scenic sounding. Like when a tree falls and no one hears it.
This album has the potential to startle so many when they walk upon the strewn branches.