The xx

One In a Million? Why We’re Still Talking About Aaliyah

Aaliyah made genre-redefining albums in the 1990s and died way too young. She was involved in a controversial marriage, and her breakthrough video was set in a high school gym. Her catalog comprises three studio albums, and new artists can’t wait to assert their cred by covering her songs and name-checking her in interviews. … Read More

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Martina Topley-Bird, Mark Lanegan, and Warpaint Cover The xx’s “Crystallised”

A few years ago, absolutely everyone was covering The xx, including such influential performers as Gorillaz, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the… Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

If you’re aiming to feed yourself with some culturally enriching fodder, the Flavorwire team has you covered with our perennial composite of favorite cultural things to keep you engaged throughout the week. Tell us what you’ve enjoyed in the comments below, and stay cultured. … Read More

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Photo Gallery: The Mud, Rain, and Music of Governors Ball 2013

After one day of torrential rain, two days of ankle-deep mud, and countless ruined shoes, the third and largest incarnation of New York’s Governors Ball Music Festival wrapped up last night with a headline set from Kanye West. Although West did treat the audience to some brand new Yeezus tracks — and also let everyone know know the album is coming out sooner rather than later because he “doesn’t give a fuck” about album sales — his set was mostly a compilation of crowd-pleasing hits and surprisingly cheesy visuals. Compared to Friday’s shortened sets and canceled headliners, however, the majority of the Governors Ball went smoothly, with the exception of a retooled main stage schedule that pushed up acts like Japandroids and Cut Copy, and some sound issues that led Animal Collective to flat-out leave the stage on Saturday night. Standout performances included a show from embattled Harlem MC Azealia Banks and a visually stunning set from The xx, along with the much-hyped return of Guns ‘n’ Roses. Flavorwire’s ace photographer Andrew Boyle was there to capture all the action, so click through for a look at some of the dozens of acts that took to the festival’s four stages this weekend — minus the mud. … Read More

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The 10 Best Songs We Heard This Week: The xx, Wu-Tang Clan

It’s Friday, a fact that would be more exciting if the weather in NYC were less like a particularly unpleasant monsoon day in Bangkok. Anyway, as ever, it’s time for Flavorwire to round up the best songs we heard during the week gone by — this week saw the return of the most excellent Forest Swords, the unexpected emergence of a new Wu-Tang Clan track (and a new Nine Inch Nails track, for that matter), Chromatics plugging a car manufacturer with a song about cars, excellent atmospheric drone-y goodness from Motion Sickness of Time Travel and Rambutan, and a crazy good compilation of weird Olympic music from 1970s East Germany. All this goodness is streaming now, and it all awaits you after the jump. Click through to listen! … Read More

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10 New Tracks You Need to Hear This Week: Grouper, The xx

It’s Friday, which means that this week is nearly over and it’s nearly time for the holidays — woo hoo, etc. — and also that it’s time to survey the various new tracks that caught our fancy this week. (If you missed our post last week, we’re temporarily replacing our regular MP3 post with a more general roundup of new music, as downloads are few and far between at this time of year.) Anyway, this week we get into the festive spirit with, um, a new track from Grouper. There’s also The xx covering Wham! (you’ll NEVER GUESS which song), a couple of new-ish Burial tracks, rather excellent remixes of Lower Dens and Sky Ferreira, a couple of gloriously misanthropic Christmas anthems, and more. Click through and get listening, gentle readers. … Read More

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10 MP3s You Need to Download for Free This Week: Thee Oh Sees, Prince Rama

It’s Friday, which means a) we survived the apocalypse and b) it’s time for another installment of our regular roundup of downloadable MP3 goodness from around the web. This week we have Prince Rama welcoming in the post-apocalyptic age, along with Thee Oh Sees covering the Velvet Underground, another beautiful home recording from Marissa Nadler, melancholy songsmithery from Willy Mason and El Perro del Mar, retro-futurism from Chrome Canyon and Ital Tek, and various other goodness for your downloading delectation. Since all this action costs precisely nothing, what are you waiting for? All the download links await after the jump. … Read More

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25 Intimate and Revealing Backstage Photos of Famous Musicians

We all know what our favorite musicians are like on stage — whether they’re shy or flamboyant, whether they’re chatty or businesslike, whether they’re funny or taciturn. But we also know that what we’re seeing on stage is ultimately a performance. Off stage, however, it’s a completely different matter, and thus backstage photography has always provided an interesting insight into the music world, particularly when the photos in question aren’t posed or contrived. We’ve pulled together a collection of such photos, images that seem to capture sides to performers that we rarely get to see, giving a glimpse of the person behind the persona — whether it’s a tearful Kurt Cobain slumped in a corner, Bob Marley playing soccer, or Lemmy reading a book (with nary a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in sight!), these are like all great photos in that they capture a moment in time and in doing so also capture some part of the subject’s personality. We hope you enjoy… Read More

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10 Albums You’ll Love If You Like The xx

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! … Read More

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