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Chatting with The XX’s Jamie XX

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The XX, playing Cosmo’s pool on October 10, just released second album Coexist.
Photo: Jamie-James Medina
Sam Glaser

The Details

THE XX with John Talabot
October 10, 8 p.m., $26.
Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool, 698-7000.

How has the band evolved between 2009’s self-titled debut and last month’s Coexist? We all grew up a lot, as most people do from age 19 to 23. And we got to do it together. We just got a lot more confident, and we could do what we wanted. … We all listen to a lot broader range of music now. We’ve all become better musicians, and closer friends.

The first album was widely featured in television, movies, ads and fashion shows. What do you think made it so versatile? Because people related to it maybe, because it was honest. And maybe some of it is quite cinematic. But really, I was very surprised that it got used so much.

How did the success of the first album affect your approach to the follow-up? Well, luckily I think we were just so eager to make music that it didn’t really occur to us until after we’d finished writing all the songs, maybe we should have taken a bit more thought about it. It had been so long since we could be connected together that we didn’t really think about pressure or anything like that.

What are the core emotions behind your dreamlike, minimalist sound? It’s just about individual tastes coming together to say something that we all love. We never really think about it that much when we’re doing it. It’s just having the most simple sound that comes out when we all play together. The songs are all love songs, but when we’re in the studio together, it’s just about us being friends and having fun. In my music, I don’t think about relationships or anything like that.

You often whisper lyrics, and your fans scream them during shows. What’s that like from your perspective? It’s a very strange experience. We played in Mexico City last night, and they were the largest crowd we’ve ever had. They were amazing, but it was just so weird to hear our quiet songs shouted right at the top of their voices.

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