hmv.com presents… Albums Of 2015: #20 The xx
Every day during January we’re going to be previewing the albums that are going to be hitting the shelves in 2015. Most will definitely come out, some probably will, and some we really hope finally see the light of day (we’re looking at you Adele…). Today we anticipate the return of The xx and their third album...
A Little Background…
Emerging with their self-titled debut in 2009, released on XL's Young Turks imprint that's also home to the likes of SBTRKT and FKA Twigs, The xx won almost instant acclaim among critics and fans alike. Self-produced and apparently recorded in a garage, their debut album picked up the Mercury Music Prize the following year, also picking up three nominations at that year's BRIT Awards.
After parting ways with their second guitarist Baria Quereshi, they began work on their sophomore LP, Coexist (which you can preview on the right-hand side of this page), expanding on their ethereal, dream-pop sound and added more of a club vibe to the proceedings, earning the band their first No.1 album in the UK in the process. In the gap between then and now, band member Jamie Smith has become a sought-after producer in his own right, producing a number of remixes under the Jamie xx moniker, notably working with Gil-Scott Heron on the remix album We're New Here.
Talk of album no. 3 began to surface as early as September 2012, with singer Romy Madley-Croft telling NME that “We don't find it easy as a band to write on tour, so we haven't got much done yet with new songs because we've been touring 'Coexist' so much. We're looking forward to having time off to be creative again.”
By June 2013, work on the next album seemed to be underway, with producer Rodaidh McDonald telling Dazed that the album has a “completely different concept”, and that sessions taking place in Texas, also adding that they were planning sessions “in Iceland and maybe France.”
Then in November last year, more details emerged about the recording process in a newsletter from the band, discussing sessions in Texas, Reykjavik and London, saying that "although all very different, each of these places have been inspirational environments to create music in, and each will have an influence on the new album. The whole process is a big adventure and we can't wait for a time when we'll be able to share the music with you."
What Will It Sound Like?
No new music has been made publicly available as yet, although there have been some clues along the way, with McDonald saying in his Dazed interview that the band were “working with different sounds”, although there's not much we can draw from that. One group of people who might know more are the fans who were lucky enough to be in attendance at their show in New York's Guggenheim Museum in November last year, where the band are reported to have debuted some of the new material.
Who's Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
Rodaidh McDonald has clearly been working on the album and given that the band have always self-produced to a certain extent it seems likely to be a partnership between them, but there has been no news of any guest producers or performers on the album at this stage.
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
Nothing has been confirmed as yet, with no released date or even a title for the third album available at the time of writing, but of recording started in the middle of last year it seems likely they'll have gotten pretty far by now, so we're hopeful it could surface before we've seen the back of 2015.