The xx © Laura Coulson

Double X

Oliver Sim: the 23-year-old singer/bass player for one of Britain’s hippest bands talks about his second album “Co-Exist” and all things xx - the band’s name, its rise to fame and fortune, the big come down after the last tour, their affiliation with Karl Lagerfeld, Rihanna and Greek’s next top model as well as their “gay image”, their side activities as DJs and superstar producers. 

The xx, a band from the capitol of European popculture, seems to be the band of the future. The supply of bands who really stand for consensus seems to have stalled. Today, festival organizers are puzzled when you ask them who should fill the big halls and festival areas in 10 years. A time, when well established brands like Metallica or Red Hot Chili Peppers will be ready to retire, counting their money while lingering on golf courses and putting their instruments away for good? If you look around, the answer is quite simple. Although the ways of consumption have changed, the longing for songs which picture a generation and its feelings, remains. Mumford and Sons, for example, managed to do so and could tour the world forever. The xx, who are close to releasing their third album I See You, could do just the same. The trio from the suburbs of London which is led by the producer, DJ and beat artist Jamie xx, manages to write songs which include clear bass lines, well structured guitar sounds and soft beats. And they connect hearts. The real art, though, is convincing sensitive listeners and make a real event out of a concert. Longing is a precious good and The xx are taking good care of it. They are continuing where New Order left off in the last century. The time has come for them to enchant the world. (Günther „Bus“ Schweiger)

So three years after the first album: What were you after with number two? How did you approach it?
Oliver Sim: It wasn’t a really, you know, there was no like meeting before we started writing or anything to discuss direction or what we wanted. It just wasn’t very premeditated. We were working just song by song, and with no huge kind of ambition really. We weren’t even planning for an album. We were just planning to be creative and write songs. So it was a pretty natural relaxed process ... (Interview: Peter Reynolds / The Interview People )

read more in the print edition.

The xx
I See You (Release: January 13, 2017) 
Live: The xx at Marx Halle, Vienna 
Thursday, February 23, 2017