My Love Affair: The xx

I will try to make this a series of themed posts, but it could happen to what most series end off in – Post Heaven.

“My Love Affair” will track the journey of discovery and love for a particular song, artiste, celebrity or anything under the sky – how a simple act leads to moments of seduction, obsession and possession, and of how feelings were developed over time.

And starting it, at no better time with the official release of their new video for “Islands”, is the xx.

One of my regular routines in life is to scout through music blogs as and whenever I have the time, to find good resources for music, hear what the bloggers recommend (and to do an internal check on whether these critics’ faves and rave comments are definitely worth the hype), and admittedly, download the music to furnish up my iTunes library or iPod’s “Go! Playlist”. It does not have to be exactly current; there were days and years of listening to local radio’s rapidity and being stuck in my naive moments of actually believing that I know everything about music.

After a few listens on “Crystallised”, “Basic Space” and “Infinity” available on the blog, I proceeded to download the tracks, finding them favourable on first spins. Prior to that, I believed that I have read some words about the band, most likely from L, one of the best music resources around that I have known. However, there they stood amongst my library, not being played and left behind.

About three months later, I was doing my rounds of updating the iPod’s playlist, for music to hear on-the-go. Then, almost going bonkers after going through artistes with the initial alphabets of A-V, I stopped at the xx. I listened. I re-liked what I hear, in fact, much more than before, and placed all three tracks to give them a try. There was no turning back thereafter; it was all written in black and white, and marked X’s all over the place.

Definite seeking and finding the album at HMV in City Hall, I was pleased to find the then-last copy of the CD, and geekily smiling myself silly away, walked over to the cashier counter to give the entire album a listening sample party of my own. The full tracklisting carries weight, and is of almost equal quality and consistency with those tracks that I had already heard before. If one has done right with one track, why the heck change for the sake and weight of the demanding world? That is the xx for me; and that was a SGD20.95 deservingly well spent, in my own books (considering the fact that it is usually hard for me to like an entire album).

Word was spreading that there was going to be this huge indie music festival upcoming, but eventually it did not happened. However, the xx were still arranged to come to Singapore and perform, along with headliners Florence + The Machine, and to date, it could be the best music gig that I have ever been to. Sounding as good as their audio quality does, the xx had made me feel afloat with their music, and their purpose in music was sealed at that exact moment – to make music, and at that, damn good music.

I remembered a day when I was actually sick and outside, and mentally sick to be obsessing in going for a suntan, as well as feeling the ill blues as I was awaiting for the neighbourhood bus to approach the bus queuing lanes, that when the track “Basic Space” came on, I felt like it saved my life. I really believed that it did, though I was not quite sure of what it had done, but maybe provided me with the strength to lift my weakening strength up and to make it home safe and alive.

I am not sure if the entire nation, or in actual fact, the entire world, has heard of the xx. I think they damn well should, before they made any further comments about music, current music, mainstream music, being all that great and superb. Dig that earwax out of those ears and listen, is all I am asking for.

The obsession for the latest video for “Islands”, continue.


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