You might have already heard most of The xx’s upcoming sophomore album, since disjointed extracts from it – shaky live recordings, early samples of what’s to come – have been popping up for months now. The best thing about their debut, The xx, though, was its overwhelming entirety, its sense of perfect completion as an album; it makes sense, then, to get excited that you can finally hear Coexist as an xx record is meant to be heard – in full.
Head to NPR.org now to stream the eleven new songs in their full-length, crisply recorded, carefully ordered glory. Building on the moments of softness and strength that made The xx so astounding, Coexist stretches these moments with a brave, adventurous new expansiveness, pulling apart and crushing together Romy’s and Oliver’s voices in ways that make them sound new and startling all over again.
You could lift a softly breathed line, a well-timed hook or a listless guitar from any of these tracks and be in awe of its individual, simple greatness, but nothing beats hearing it all blend and chime together (or hearing it coexist, if you like). Stream the album in full now, before you make up your mind about those snippets that you’ve heard; it’s a fairly incredible listen.