Archived entries for the xx

new from: the xx



person 1: what do you think?

person 2: truths – its beautiful. the beats are fiiine as ever. its very emotional

person 1: yes

august 2- terminal 5, new york, ny – sold out wahhh wahh..//august 11 – st malo, france//sept. 7th – bestibal, isle of wright, uk

i wont be in any of these countries during any of these dates, hopefully you have better luck. many many more tour dates here:

Jamie xx – Far Nearer (SKFUL Remix)

Erol Sabadosh

Erol Sabadosh

Usually when I find a new song or artist, I think to myself, I’m really glad I found this. Well in this case, I’m really glad Erol Sabadosh found me/forthebeat and sent me this remix.

Erol Sabadosh is a DJ from London. He’s played with La Roux, Bloc Party, The xx, MGMT and more and next up is London’s Lovebox Festival with the incredible 2 Many DJs and Fred Falke, Flying Lotus, Metronomy, Washed Out, Hudson Mohawke and more.

His remix of one of my favorite tracks off of the Strokes latest album Angles titled, “Call Me Back,” is one of the best remixes I’ve heard of any of their  tracks, past and present.

The Strokes – Call Me Back (Erol Sabadosh Remix)

Warpaint Release First Single


Warpaint is about to release their debut LP “The Fool” on Rough Trade.  The first track is called “Undertow” and is currently available, free to download on their site.

Undertow is a strong indicator that The Fool will be a great listen. This four female band is beautiful dreamy/jammy rock at its best. We caught the ladies twice at this past sxsw and they were incredible both shows.

Undertow has the Warpaint trademark guitar rifts that are reminiscent of their last album, also released by Rough Trade,  Exquisite Corpse. Favorite tracks off that LP are Beetles, Elephant and definitely check out their Bowie cover of Ashes to Ashes, for your listening pleasure, below, along with, Undertow

Warpaint begins a 3 week U.S. tour with the xx next week, followed in mid-October by a 3 week European tour with shows in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France and the Netherlands.

The Fool (9 track album) will be released October 25th. The band recorded the album in LA with help from a few notable producers including Adam Samuels (John Frusciante).

Warpaint – Undertow

Warpaint – Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie cover)

Le Miel du Mois: Fevrier


It’s the first of the month, and Le Miel du Mois: Fevrier is up on Et Musique Pour Tous!  Click on the tape to listen in full and download the mix for *free*

Some of forthebeat’s favorite new artists are on there including Sunglasses, Coma Cinema, Peasant and Walter Sobcek. Tracklist below:

XXXChange – Roll It Light It Smoke It
The Tough Alliance – Neo Violence (Shazam Remix)
Database vs. French Horn Rebellion – Beaches and Friends (The Twelves Remix)
Sunglasses – Whiplash
The Radio Dept. – Heaven’s On Fire
Ladyhawke – My Delirium (Walter Sobcek Remix)
The xx – VCR (Matthew Dear Remix)
Pinback – Fortress
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps (Elite Force Re-Fix)
Thieves Like Us – Drugs In My Body
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Turn Into
The Dig – Penitentiary
Peasant – Thinking
Coma Cinema – Flower Pills

oh dear

Matthew Dear

We weren’t sure where Matthew Dear was hiding, but suddenly, he burst back on the scene last week with a remix of The xx’s “VCR.”

To be honest, I was late to the party, and only discovered Matthew Dear a few months back, when I downloaded Ghostly International’s free iPhone app Ghostly Discovery (if you don’t already have this app, it’s pretty awesome, and you can create playlists of the Ghostly catalogue depending on your mood and style preferences – organic to digital and slower to faster).  I found myself always applying settings that would get me to Matthew Dear songs.

The Texas-native made his way to Michigan, where he was inspired by the sounds of “Detroit Techno” and debuted his first single, 1999s “Hands Up For Detroit.”  With influences including the Talking Heads and David Bowie, as well as tour support and remixes for Hot Chip, The Postal Service and Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), Matthew Dear has been extremely prolific since 1999, producing singles, EPs, albums and remixes as Matthew Dear as well as Audion, Jabberjaw and False – the monikers he’s been hiding behind for the past year or so.

His remix of The xx’s “VCR” was a strategic move to burst back on the scene – you can do no wrong when aligning with this baby-faced threesome.  We happen to love everything from their original material to remixes of their work and their remixes of their piers – the remix of Florence and The Machine’s “You’ve Got The Love” being one of my favorite songs of 2009.

So without further ado, here is Matthew Dear’s new remix of The xx’s “VCR”…

The xx – VCR (Matthew Dear Remix)

no one on the corner have swagga like us


After teaming up with Swagger Paris for a kick ass CMJ party (with We Have Band, Sleigh Bells, Phantogram, etc.), we’ve teamed up with our good friend Sian-Pierre Regis and his fly fashion site again to bring you a monthly mixtape tailored to the Swagger style.  Ready?  Ready!

SWAGGER: MIXTAPE by forthebeat (track list below and click on the image above to stream the playlist)…

Biggie vs. Tupac vs. The xx – Runnin’ With The xx
Sebastien Tellier – Divine (Danger Remix)
Major Lazer – Pon De Floor (Cold Blank Remix)
Lykke Li and Kings of Leon – Knocked Up Rodeo Mash Up
MSTRKRFT – Heartbreaker (Laidback Luke Remix)
Telepathe – Chrome’s On It (Gold Panda Remix)
Mystery Jets – Half In Love With Elizabeth (Delorean Remix)
Four Tet – Love Cry

forthebeat & EMPT Present: Top 10 Albums of ‘09


We teamed up with Et Musique Pour Tous to bring you our Top 10 albums of 2009. (We picked a track on each for you to listen to below, but also head over to EMPT for more of our favorite tracks on these albums.)  Looking back, this was a really great year for music. So without further ado, and in no particular order…


The xxxx

The xx – Islands

With spots on the majority of “best of” lists this year, even including a nod on the Fact Magazine “Best Albums of the Decade” list, is the self-titled, debut album from The xx. Each time I listen to this album, I discover a new favorite song. The first few to jump out were “Crystalized” and “Night Time.” But each time I listen, depending on my mood, my favorites change. From the song writing to the production, it’s amazing that this album is the creation of a group of now 20-year-olds, who met at the Elliot School in London, which also boasts famous alums including Hot Chip and Four Tet. Led by the production of Jamie Smith (Beats, MPC, who also goes by Jamie xx as his DJ persona) and life-long friends Oliver Sim (Vocals, Bass) and Romy Madley (Vocals, Guitar), the group lost their fourth member Baria Qureshi (Keys, Guitar) during extensive touring, which will continue well into 2010. The reason xx has such mass appeal is because of the band’s ability to brilliantly fit together influences from, according to their MySpace page, Aaliyah to CocoRosie, Rihanna to The Cure, Missy Elliott to Chromatics, The Kills to Ginuwine, Pixies to Mariah Carey, and Justin Timberlake to Tracy + the Plastics. The greatest example is The xx cover of Aaliyah’s “Hot Like Fire.” With the ability to expertly cross-genres, the band suddenly and deservedly reached critical acclaim. Perhaps just as exciting as their debut album were the Jamie xx remixes this year. My favorite of which was Florence and the Machine – “You’ve Got The Love (Jamie xx Remix),” which leads us into another breakout album of 2009… – KC


Florence and The MachineLungs

Florence and The Machine – Dog Days Are Over

Lungs, the debut album from Florence and the Machine, is the UK’s best-selling album of 2009, with over 100,000 copies sold within the first month of release. Led by frontwoman Florence Welch, who credits influences including Annie Lennox, Courtney Love and Kate Bush, Florence and The Machine is known for raw ballads, mostly about violence and death, yet sung in a beautiful, emotion-filled voice. This juxtaposition is daring considering the vividness of each song, but listeners can’t help but get caught up in the passion conveyed. Standout tracks include “Kiss With A Fist,” “Rabbit Heart (Raise Up),” “Dog Days Are Over,” and one of my favorite songs of this year, the commanding “Cosmic Love.” What some declare as its flaws are also its strengths – Lungs is an ambitious and sometimes wild debut, but Welch is a standout among her contemporaries. From pop to soul to folk, she takes a number of influences and executes an innovative album. Florence and The Machine go back into the studio in January 2010, and we’re rooting for an equally stunning follow-up. – KC

yeah yeah yeahs

Yeah Yeah YeahsIt’s Blitz!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Soft Shock

One of our favorite artists and favorite albums this year. Every song has this undeniable energy and magnetism that makes you want to dance, sing and scream like Karen O (which you will never be able to), desperate to try and mimic a fraction of what she delivers on stage in both presence and performance. The trio (Karen O, along with drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner) deliver an impressive record that is an emotional and beautiful tribute to the love of the dance floor, with epic tracks like “Heads Will Roll,” “Soft Shock,” “Skeletons,” “Dull Life” and “Zero,” and acoustic versions of select tracks including “Hysteric,” that evoke a different experience of the album altogether. As exciting and amazing as the rock/punk/dance sound is overall, what is equally amazing is the band’s ability to deliver unbelievable lyrics that are concise and repetitive but powerful time and time again. It’s Blitz! proves once again, that following the huge successes of Fever to Tell (2003) and Show Your Bones (2006), Grammy nominations and mass popularity won’t ever mess with the YYY’s overwhelming cool factor. – SL


PhoenixWolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Phoenix – Lisztomania

Who would have guessed that the pop/rock star persona was born in the midst of the Modern age, midway through the 19th century? Pas moi, pas du tout. Phoenix’s fifth achieved album is somewhat of an homage to this period in history. “Lisztomania,” remixed left right and center since the album’s release, is a direct allusion to the original rock star, Franz Liszt. Contemporary to his arch-rival Wagner, this dood lived it loud, large, and luscious. B!tches n Ho’s, the benjamins in his pocket (different currency at the time, but whatever), and the industries respect. He had the full kwan. Title single, and introductory track to the UK album release, this tune oozes the good ol’ Phoenix bounce we all dig. The lyrics touch upon a touchy subject I ponder on quite often: women need to understand something. It’s all good and gold to be sentimental. But there is absolutely no need to be senti-mental. Keep in the bounds girls. We try our best.
It also evokes the EMPT gospel,

“Think less but see it grow, like a riot like a riot oh! Not easily offended … It’s time to show it off.”

What amazes me about every Phoenix album is the Dalmatian ways of the guitar sounds: spot on. It is quite insane how the two guitars synergize to forge a soundscape worth admiring. And the keys? Don’t even get me started. They make the chester cheeto crunch that makes this band so unique. Oh, but the vocals are also as unique as a four-breasted PYT with a mute button included. This band is epic. Growing up in the same environment as Air and attending the same high school as Daft Punk and Justice, there is an obvious fact at hand: there must be something in the water in the outskirts of Versailles, ‘cause their sound is crisp and shines like crystals.

Although most lyrics are not historical, the allusions are embedded. Damn straight: Franz Liszt and his crazy ways; 1901, the approach to the end of Modernism and genesis of the Post Modern realm; the importance of Rome during the Italian unification; and the all-failing attempts of armistice during both World Wars. It’s all there boys and girls. No need to hit the books, just sit back and enjoy this culturally enriching excuse for an album. For this isn’t merely an album, it’s the fifth book of a gospel being written in our modern day and age. – JOCS


Miike SnowMiike Snow

Miike Snow - Burial

I didn’t have to see the band live to know that Miike Snow’s self-titled debut would be one of my favorite albums of 2009.  But their Mercury Lounge appearance, co-headlining with Jack Peñate, solidified their place in our top 10 — the show being one of my favorite performances of 2009. Surprisingly, however, Miike Snow has been left overtly off most critics’ “best of” lists. The trio of songwriters and producers, which includes New Yorker and in-house producer for Downtown Recordings Andrew Wyatt, in collaboration with Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, the Swedish production duo known as Bloodshy & Avant, have been the masterminds behind many pop and mainstream acts including Madonna, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue. However, their experience doesn’t thwart our love for this album. Miike Snow is a complete pop revelation, and one of the best indie pop breakouts of the year. – KC


Fever RayFever Ray

Fever Ray – When I Grow Up

Fever Ray’s self-titled debut album was groundbreaking. The electro sounds and lyrics are similar to frontwoman Karin Dreijer Andersson’s former project The Knife, yet evoke an even eerier and emotionally intense feeling that is fast-paced and experimental in sound. Karin delivers a truly unique auditory experience that blends fantasy with the nightmarish and unknown. Seeing Fever Ray perform live at Webster Hall in New York City this year was definitely unlike any other live show I’ve seen to date. “When I Grow Up,” “Seven,” and “If I Had A Heart” are among the best tracks on the album, with videos that parallel in the strange and unique. The album penetrates your curiosity, half-terrifying, half-calming, and draws you into Karin’s world — highly emotional, complex and wonderfully weird. – SL


Passion PitManners

Passion Pit – Moth’s Wings

Passion Pit bathes in the same pool as many other artsy vigilante musicians such as MGMT, Friendly Fires and Late of The Pier. As my tutor at ACM once told me, genres are for people that work at record stores. These guys bring this concept to the next level.

Finding inspiration in a plethora of musical styles, this album grasps you from the first bar of music on the intro track “Make Light.” An indie four-to-the-floor beat with a properly produced drone bass line lays the solid ground for the guitars to slowly unfold their respective voicing. Any song that drags you through three verses of a lyrical depiction of being down in a gutter, to then insist that we have the power within to bring light into our lives is a solid introduction.

“And it’s alright
Cause tonight there’s a way I’ll make light
Of my treacherous life.”

The ‘favorite song’ pedestal for this album is a duality fought between “Moths Wings” and “To Kingdom Come.” The teasing guitar lick and epic entry of the keys sets my skin alight. I’m a fond believer in that if you don’t know what to say, write a letter. Michael addresses the entire lyric of this song to a dear friend in need of advice. Epic.

I could type a novel on each of these tunes, but for logistic reasons, I won’t. Seeing as “Sleepyhead” has been satisfactorily covered in prior posts, I’ll take the pleasure in breaking “To Kingdom Come” down to its core. Right from the beginning, this tune shines a ray of sunshine up anybody’s yo hole. Even though the lyrics oppose this idea, except for the final pair of words: Feel Alive! Yes sir, I do now. The rest of the lyrical content covers the dilemma of dealing with unnecessary and dumbfounded negative criticism from the people you expect it from the least. I think we can all relate.

All in all, this debut album, to me, is a masterpiece. They kicked the industry’s door down, and here they are, and they’re here to stay. Some people compare their sound to MGMT and call them a pastiche. I beg of you, stop skimming through albums, pay attention and you’ll see the divine difference between the two. – JCOS


La RouxIn For The Kill

La Roux – In For The Kill

Lyrics about love and betrayal, and that hair… This 80’s-inspired electro pop duo’s band name originates from frontwoman Elly Jackson’s French heritage, and of course her red hair – La Roux translates into “the red headed one.” Their debut album first hit the scene in 2007, when the debut single “Quicksand” was released on an independent record label, before the English group signed with Polydor Records, which released the full-length album In For The Kill in 2009. The second half of the duo is Ben Langmaid; Langmaid does not perform live with Jackson and refuses to be photographed or interviewed.  So Jackson holds her own as the stand out of the band. With hits including “Bulletproof,” the second single released, which debuted at # 1 in the UK Singles Chart, title track “In For the Kill,” and “I’m Not Your Toy,” the debut album threw Jackson onto the scene with a bang, her red hair gracing the pages of Rolling Stone, SPIN, NME, with hundreds of other features in UK papers, online media and the music blogs. Live performances this past year have also gained her a loyal fan base, with rave reviews from Leeds, Reading, Glastonbury and U.S. festival debut, All Points West. While 2009 was the year of red, 2010 looks like it will be the year of gold for Jackson, with her 2010 “The Gold Tour” kicking off in April. – SL


Animal CollectiveMerriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective – Brother Sport

Who would have thought that an extremely weird, overly ambient, psychedelic pop album would be on the top of everyone’s list in ’09? An album that requires so much patience and imagination from the listener to the point that it’s borderline inaccessible. Well, pretty much every one. Since the day the album was released, this critically-acclaimed album has held title of king. Like I said though, as well received as it may be, this album is not for everyone. As much as people want new, they want familiar and if you’re always listening for something to bring you back home when you’re listening to music, then this may leave you in the dark. What impresses me the most about this work is how such eccentricity manages to provoke thought and emotion. It’s not everyday you get an album that succeeds like this one did, without the band somehow compromising their integrity, so this is truly a special one. – HMJ


Bat For LashesTwo Suns

Bat For Lashes – Glass

Two Suns is the place where epic fantasy, mystic love, dark adventure and highly ambitious song writing seamlessly come together to take us on a dark, yet inspiring cosmic journey into the world of Natasha Khan and her hedonistic alter-ego Pearl.

“Fresh like the produce isle – that’s a Harlem for them.” – G.O.V

Like Merriweather Post Pavilion, most of the songs on this album require the listener to bring some imagination to the table. There are moments when this genre-defying work might leave you cold, if you’re not in Natasha fantasy land. Moments when abstract experimentation may have gotten the best of the music, but should you dare to escape and enjoy outside of your personal listening needs, the experience will be one-of-a-kind. My taste for all things this year has ended up at exotic, be it girls, music, entertainment — I need it to be something I’m not familiar with. Maybe I traveled too much as a kid or something, but I need the atypical, and perhaps this is why “Daniel” is hands-down my favorite song of the year. No matter how many times I listen to this song, how close to home her emotional delivery may be, I can never listen to this song and feel like it’s something I’m familiar with. And that, my friends, is priceless. – HMJ

haha don’t be like that: forthebeat’s 9 of ’09

golden bb

We’ve put together our “Best of” list — forthebeat’s 9 of ’09, featuring 9 original tracks and 9 remixes. Not all of these debuted in 2009, but this list is comprised of our favorite tunes we couldn’t stop repeating, all year long.

Our friends over at Et Musique Pour Tous have compiled the list into an 18 track, candy for your ears, end of year mixtape.  Head over to EMPT and download here.  In no particular order, the track listing:

White Rabbits – Percussion Gun
Delorean – Deli
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (A Trak Remix)
Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
Sleigh Bells – Ring Ring
Whitest Boy Alive – Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix)
The xx – Crystalized
The Virgins – Rich Girls (The Twelves Remix)
Miike Snow – Sylvia
Telepathe – Chrome’s On It (Gold Panda Remix)
Florence and The Machine - Cosmic Love
Sebastien Tellier – Roche (Breakbot Remix)
La Roux - I'm Not Your Toy (Jack Beats Remix)
Air France – Collapsing At Your Doorstep
Lykke Li – Dance, Dance, Dance
Florence and the Machine – You’ve Got the Love (The xx Remix)
Friendly Fires – Paris (Aeroplane Remix)
The xx – Shelter (Them Jeans Drum Edit)

One of EMPT’s fans, KIKI, left an extensive comment list that is nothing short of amazing, describing how each track makes her feel.  Some incredible highlights here:

track 3: I fucking love a-trak. and the word alchemy. at 2:28 I’m jamming with steph in a club and then we’re at the beach and then in a plane….by about 4:25 we’re at hiro.

track 6: YESSSSSSSSSS. NO WORDS. JUST PARTY MOVES AND PARTY DRESSES. SEQUIN ONES. black sequins, and spaghetti straps and champagne and a disco ball and jumping on banquettes. and falling in love or out…

track 8: I wish I could walk around nyc with songs like this blasting from a boom box on my shoulder.

track 9: saturday afternoons during ny winter with no real sunlight and rain and snow and walking down the street with a hat and mittens and loving whats in your ears and loving strangers.

track 13: repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat.

track 14: whatevsky.

track 18: dance party in slow motion. or steph doing the running man…..

Friendly Fires at SPiN

Friendly Fires 2

Last night, we headed to the Fred Perry 100th Anniversary Party at SpiN New York, where Friendly Fires performed.

First off, SPiN is pretty awesome.  I don’t remember the last time I hung out at a private, swanky and trendy ping pong club.  That’s right – never.  Guests including Susan Sarandon and Judah Friedlander (who dominated the ping pong tables while wearing his “World Champion” hat) sipped Belvedere and some kind of tequila cocktails and checked out the 100th Anniversary Collection from Fred Perry.

When Friendly Fires hit the stage, the crowd gathered around for a super intimate, high-energy set.  Lead-singer Ed Macfarlane broke out his signature moves, causing the crowd to hit the dance floor and Macfarlane’s band mates to laugh at his on-stage antics of feverishly shaking his head and tail.

If you haven’t caught a live show by these guys, check out their tour schedule now.  If you’re in New York City, they’re playing Webster Hall with The xx in December; however, the show is sold out – but you’re resourceful!  If you’re on the West Coast, The xx and Holly Miranda (of the Jealous Girlfriends) are supporting Friendly Fires on tour.  Here are some tunes from all three…

Friendly Fires – Jump In The Pool

The xx – Crystalized

Holly Miranda – Waves

Florence and The Machine Remixes


Lungs, the debut album from Florence and the Machine, was released in the UK this past July, selling over 100,000 copies within the first month.  Led by frontwoman Florence Welch, who credits influences including Annie Lennox, Courtney Love and Kate Bush, the band played at Fader Fort during CMJ last week, as well as The Late Show with David Letterman and Bowery Ballroom this week.  The latter was the first “official” appearance stateside, coinciding with the physical release of Lungs in the US.

A number of singles off the debut album have been remixed, including one by forthebeat favorite The xx (although it’s more like a cover).  These are the two on repeat:

Florence and the Machine - You've Got the Love (The xx Remix)

Florence and the Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) (SLOF MAN & JOR-ONE Dubstep Remix)

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