Song of the Day, July 16: Intro by the xx

xxIntroToday’s song is a classic album opener. When the xx went into the studio to record their debut album, their average age was barely over 20. They had a powerful musical vision, however, and crafted a spare masterpiece, making the most of both natural and electronic instruments by letting the spaces around them serve as the central element of their sound.

While the sublime combination of the two vocalists’ voices is a critical element of the music, the opener relies almost entirely on the instruments. A chiming guitar and welcoming drone provide a solid trip-hop backdrop. Propulsive but subtle drums, a bit of fuzzy keyboard work, and wordless vocalizations merge in at perfect intervals, all coming together to welcome the listener to the xx’s soundscapes.

The track isn’t just a perfect start to the album. It has such a charming insistence that it became a million-selling download without a singles release. Used in dozens of TV shows, sporting events, samples by other artists, and commercial spots, the tune became omnipresent but never tired.

Enjoy this bit of stunning musical simplicity today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

One Response to Song of the Day, July 16: Intro by the xx

  1. ayitl says:

    it really makes a beautiful background to anything

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