The XX: Straight Up Soul

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If you’re looking for some borderline-naughty soul beats, we’ve uncovered a gem. While electro is great for a wake-up playlist, nothing says dinner party charm like a little bit of new age blues. Enter The xx. This band’s self-titled debut album dropped today, and the CHEEK office has been a better place for it. The group, which is comprised of four 20-year-olds, say that they draw influences from CocoRosie, Ginuwine and Rihanna, but we hear a fair amount of Feist and Interpol in the mix.

First stop: a track called ‘Basic Space’, the intro slips directly into soulful bliss and the vocals from front woman Romy Madley Croft are smooth as molasses. This tune is perfect for sitting in front of a fire with your favourite book and glass of wine. Next, take an earful of ‘Crystalized’ and you’ll be somewhere between new age, pop and R&B heaven. ‘Teardrops’ truly showcases the band’s ability for variation. The guitar riffs verge on indie rock, but the vocals bring it all back to soul, with an 80s vibe that will make you want to shake it out. The topic of the songs? Unapologetically, sex.

One of the best parts of the album is a take on Aaliyah’s ‘Hot Like Fire’. This cover’s harmony between Croft and the second vocalist/bassist Oliver Sim is so sultry, it’ll have you squirming in your seat. Open up your iTunes, and get on board with xx.

–Cora Nijhawan


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