London, summer, 2009: The xx arrive with their debut album ‘xx’ – a whole new sound of love, loss and longing. The xx are four kids who formed at London’s Elliot School in 2005, the south-west comprehensive that by now you may well be aware produced the likes of dubstep enigma Burial, Hot Chip, and Fourtet’s Kieren Hebden: Three alumni, that whilst their ten academic years apart prevents any real affiliation, share a peculiar artistic thread with their high school’s newest heroes, Each have innovated: setting their own musical agenda with a unique fusion of synthetics and live instrumentation to powerful, alien effect. But alone The xx stand, not only in the singularity of their influences and sound, but in the universal resonance of their music.
Gingerly dodging the storm cloud of hype hysteria that plagues seemingly every other new buzz act of the moment, Romy Madley Croft (lead vocals, guitar), Oliver Sim (lead vocals, bass), Baria Qureshi (keyboards, guitar) and Jamie Smith (beats, samples) are edging into our hearts. Their unique make-up is a second nature marriage of 2009’s urban/guitar tribes, in one corner fluttering new wave inspired reverberation, in the other, plumes of textured, post-dubstep sub-bass and figuratively, their defining core of rich R&B vocal textures.
Their debut album ‘xx’ will be released on XL Recording’s bleeding edge Young Turks imprint (Holy Fuck, Gang Gang Dance, El Guincho). Eschewing big name producers and studios, ‘xx’ sees Jamie continuing in the producer role he’s asserted since The xx’s conception, tweaking and refining the band’s beautifully crafted songs into a debut record that’s utterly contemporary and undeniably timeless. The enveloping, vocal partnership of best friends and songwriters Romy and Oliver is one that would’ve dropped-jaws in any decade, and set amidst a shivering soundscape of beats and plucks, their bedroom-reared concrete-soul is being justly heralded as the UK’s most original and treasured alt-pop artifact of late.
‘xx’ will be preceded by a new single ‘Basic Space’ on 3rd August. Meanwhile, having recently toured with The Big Pink and Micachu & The Shapes, The xx will play a handful of highly anticipated shows throughout the summer.
Polica had already recorded their first full-length before debuting on the local music circuit. So the mystery behind them after their inaugural show in September was already remarkably large, especially considering the musicians' previous projects like Roma di Luna, Bon Iver, and GAYNGS.
Featuring Channy Leaneagh, Chris Bierden, Drew Christopherson, and Ben Ivascu, Polica has already garnered widespread interest throughout the country. On the heels of a recent tour with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and an upcoming record produced by Ryan Olson (GAYNGS, Digitata) and mixed by Jim Eno of Spoon, the band has proven that releasing only a handful of tracks as a teaser without any other press can be the best equation to really knock up your buzz-factor. - Mark Wheat