By Ana Diaz
The xx, a London based minimalist indie rock band, have released a demo of a new track from their upcoming album. “Open Eyes” was posted on the band’s blog this past Christmas Day. Listen to the band’s holiday gift to fans below.
"Open Eyes," a demo from their upcoming album.
“Open Eyes” is the first new work from the band since they released their highly acclaimed 2009 debut, xx. Their debut album was characterized by minimal layers and has evidence of R&B and electronic influences. Another mainstay of the band are the singer’s, Oliver Sim and Romy Crofts, crooning vocals. Since there are two main vocalists, many of the tracks in their debut album have back-and-forth approach to the lyrics' delivery, almost like listening to a conversation. It creates a private atmosphere within the songs and the listener almost feels like a voyeur. Regardless, the intimacy created, which is amplified by the minimalist music, makes The xx one of those bands that just draws you in. They’ve drawn in so many fans that in 2010, they went on to win a highly coveted British music award, The Barclaycard Mercury Prize.
“Crystalized” was easily the biggest hit off their debut album.
Since the release of xx, The xx haven’t released any new material and mainly focused their collaborative efforts on touring. Producer Jamie Smith, more popularly known as Jaime xx, did have a slew of remix hits during the band’s down time. He even remixed the late Gil Scott-Heron final album into a creative piece that eloquently rearranged Heron’s narratives to coincide with electronic and dubstep textures.
We’re New Here, Jamie xx and Gil Scott-Heron’s remix album.
“Open Eyes” keeps true to the bands minimalist yet visceral sound created in the previous album. Romy Croft’s smoky voice envelopes the song and a simple guitar line gently moves it along. It’s a very bare and vulnerable sound. Noticeably absent from this endeavor are Oliver Sim’s husky voice and hollow bass as well as Jamie xx’s meticulous beats. For those fans out there that are thinking that this song is almost too minimal, don’t worry! It’s only a demo. According to Jamie xx, the band’s beat maker and producer, the new album will be influenced by club music. Although club music is far more energetic than anything The xx have done as a band thus far, their debut album and subsequent remixes have shown that these three young musicians are more than capable of the hard work and talent required to create a catchy yet alluring work.
The xx, dressed in black as usual.