The xx’s understated, minimal approach to pop music has been one of the pleasures of recent years — in an era of turning everything up to 11, it’s rather heartening to see that a band can sell a heap of records with a sound that’s built on the virtues of subtlety and restraint. Their second album, Coexist, which dropped yesterday, isn’t a dramatic departure from the template they set out on their 2009 debut — it’s a record that provides subtle refinements of their sound, and works very well in doing so. And while that sound is distinctive, it certainly isn’t unique, so we thought we’d celebrate the release of Coexist by pulling together a selection of albums that will sit nicely next to it in your record collection — albums that have informed The xx’s sound, or that we think share stylistic similarities with it. Let us know if you have any to add!
Broadcast — Tender Buttons
One of the great overlooked 2000s bands, Broadcast are sadly also one of the decade’s most tragic — singer Trish Keenan died of pneumonia last year at only 42 years of age. They produced three fantastic albums (along with a similarly excellent collaborative record with The Focus Group), and their final record — 2005’s Tender Buttons — was also their most minimal and beautiful. Anyone who’s been enjoying Coexist should definitely have a copy of this on their shelf.