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Top 10 The xx Songs

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma Top 10 The xx Songs Subscribe: ‪‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Hailing for Wandsworth, London, this indie rock/pop group has experienced commercial and critical success since they released their debut album in 2009. Their first album xx was ranked highly amongst critics and they even won the Mercury Prize for their debut album in 2010. For this countdown, we’re taking a look at 10 of their best songs including, Basic Space, Stars, Sunset, Islands, On Hold, VCR, Crystalised, Intro and Heart Skipped a Beat. Special thanks to our users trillwavve and Ethanol_ for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at MsMojo's Social Media: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Snapchat:

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Top 10 The xx Songs

Quiet yet fierce, The xx isn’t a band you want to overlook. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 The xx Songs.

For this list, we’ve ranked it based on a combination of both their most commercially successful songs as well as fan and critical favorites.

#10: “Basic Space”
xx (2009)

A testament to their skill, this song shows off just how good the band is at writing about relationships. The second single from their acclaimed debut album, The xx explore the sexual relationship between two lovers. Intimate and sexy, they find just the right metaphors to describe what it feels like to be so enraptured with a new person with lines like “I can’t let it out, I still let you in.” The lyrics pair perfectly with the funky bass driven beat that matches the animalistic nature of their encounter, making for a standout track.

#9: “Stars”
xx (2009)

As the closing track on their debut album, “Stars” acts as a perfect ending that sums up the feelings of yearning and lust that the rest of the record explores. A mournful ballad, listeners get a back and forth between Romy and Oliver as they sing about their willingness to make a relationship work and allow the sexual chemistry to grow with time. There’s something so simple about the idea of this song yet it’s a topic that isn’t often explored in music, showing the band’s maturity and depth of experiences despite being barely out of their teens when the album was released.

#8: “Angels”
Coexist (2012)

Romy takes the lead on this single, and it’s without a doubt one of her best solo moments! It served as the first single from their sophomore album and served as a reminder of the calm sounds that made the band’s debut such a hit. She uses her soft, shy vocals to express to an obsession with a lover and how well she knows every little aspect of who they are as a person. The backing of the snare drums that come in and out of the track showcase the electronic inspiration without taking away from the song’s sensitive nature.

#7: “Sunset”
Coexist (2012)

The xx always know how to hit their fans in the feels and “Sunset” is most definitely one of the best examples of this. The song’s premise explores how it feels to run into a past lover after so much time has passed. It captures the awkwardness of how weird it is to see someone you used to know so well but who at the same time feels like a stranger. Even though the sentiment is sad, the danceable beat gives it a somewhat upbeat quality. Although don’t be too keen to start busting a move to this one, as the last line comes as a gut punch as Romy sings, “it felt like you knew me, know it feels like you see through me.”

#6: “Islands”
xx (2009)

It’s not hard to see why this song is the band’s most successful single to date. Released off of the their first LP, Romy and Oliver sing about the thrill of being in a new relationship and compare it to being found and explored like an island. It’s one of their most hopeful songs and not surprisingly, has one of their most playful beats courtesy of Jamie xx. The song broke onto both the UK singles and UK indie charts and peaked at number three on the latter. It was also mentioned on NME’s best songs of the year chart and covered by Shakira.

#5: “Chained”
Coexist (2012)

Every relationship goes through ups and downs, and this song captures that feeling of distance that can grow between a couple. Romy and Oliver take turns expressing each side of the relationship, while the music video represents the metaphorical drowning that comes with this struggle. The song was written primarily by Romy and Oliver and later Jamie xx came up with the pulsating beat, which brought a new life and feel to it. The crescendo, guitar solo, and cymbals bring the drama to match the questioning vocals making for one of their most lively tracks to date.

#4:“On Hold”
I See You (2017)

After a four year hiatus the trio dropped this song in the fall of 2016 and it’s already becoming a favorite among fans of the group’s moody sound. The song shows how much they’ve progressed in their time off. There’s a clear infusion of a funkier sound, most likely inspired from Jamie xx’s solo efforts as a DJ. Though it has the familiar subject matter of being about lovers who can’t connect anymore, the beat and hip hop inspiration make it feel fresh. They got the chance to show off just how infectious their new sound was when they performed it on “Saturday Night Live.”

#3: “VCR”
xx (2009)

With it’s cutesy rhythm provided by the xylophone, “VCR” has a touch of nostalgia to it that makes the lyrics much more poignant. As the band sings about nights spent watching tapes on the VCR, the listener is treated to a fully realized musical landscape courtesy of Romy, Oliver and Jamie. Again, their lyrics show just how good they are at writing love songs that feel fresh even though the subject matter is covered so much in music. It was released as the group’s fourth single and earned spots on both the UK Indie and UK Singles chart.

#2: “Crystalised”
xx (2009)

The song responsible for launching trio is one we can’t get out of our heads. Unlike some other first singles, this song never felt like the band was trying too hard to make an impression. Instead, it showed off how cohesive and well thought out their sound was. The track is even more impressive when you factor in the fact that Romy and Oliver co-wrote the track over e-mail when they were only 17. Their breathy vocals, repetition of phrases like “go slow,” and throbbing bass line has a hypnotic quality that makes the song so addictive.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
Coexist (2012)

“I Dare You”
I See You (2017)

“Heart Skipped a Beat”
xx (2009)

#1: “Intro”
xx (2009)

With this track, the xx prove that it doesn’t take much to make a song stand the test of time. There’s such a full sound and feeling of anticipation that comes with the beat and the soaring “ooo”’s and “aaah”’s. Even though there aren’t any lyrics, listeners get that signature xx vibe of lust and longing wrapped into one. It’s a minimalist tune that manages to be epic, which makes it a great choice for soundtracks. It’s had quite a life being included in TV shows and commercials, including the AT&T commercial that featured Olympic skater Apolo Ohno.

Do you agree with our list? Which song is your favorite? For more can’t miss Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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