The xx have been pushing the overlap between indie music and the electronic sphere for quite some time now. Receiving critical acclaim and commercial success for their work, the English band’s formation over ten years ago has helped carve a new musical direction.
Hailing from the suburb of Wandsworth in London, the group burst onto the scene in 2009 with their first album, ‘xx‘. Going on to reach No.1 and No.2 positions on The Guardian and NME polls respectively, The xx then went on to win the fabled Mercury Prize for its debut LP.
Now on the cusp of releasing their third studio album, its release on 13th January next year has stirred their fans into excitement after a few years of waiting for new material. Titled ‘I See You‘, the trio featured as the focus of Pitchfork‘s latest cover story. Notoriously shy from media coverage, Romy Madley Croft, Jamie Smith (aka Jamie xx) and Oliver Sim opened up in regards to their production and writing processes, and comparing the composition of their latest album to their second album, ‘Coexist‘.
“There was so much pressure from ourselves about: What do people like about us? What makes us sound like us? What do we need to hang onto? … When we’re thinking like that, at our worst, we can end up sounding a bit like a parody of ourselves.”
Sim then went on to open up on his struggles with alcoholism and overindulgence in the past:
“I was going out a lot with the excuse that I was celebrating — ‘celebrating’ — the past few years,” he says. “Just fighting the idea of becoming an adult. Some friends had started to mellow a bit, and I didn’t want to … And with alcohol, like a lot of things, it’s all or nothing for me. So right now it’s just nothing.”
They then went on to provide insight into their childhood relationships through the years, how they work with one another inside and outside of the studio. One of the most notable stories being when Sim talks about Jamie xx prior to being famous, saying he was “at peace with the fact that I’m not going to make big waves in the world,” – Now rather ironic given his status as a solo producer.
You can read further into The xx in the full interview via Pitchfork.