'It’s a different kind of beauty': Indie band The xx hit Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 August, 2013, 10:19am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 August, 2013, 7:19pm

They wear black, the vocals in their songs are often whispered, and they seem to be painfully shy.

That is, unless you’ve seen them in concert or have the opportunity to speak to them.

Highly acclaimed indie band The xx are often asked about their melancholy appearance and songs, but they'd like you to know, they're OK.

In an exclusive interview with The Post as the band swiftly popped in and out of Hong Kong on the last leg of their tour, they revealed what drives them.

“We were running from one side of the bus to the other taking photos,” said Romy Madley-Croft, trying to take in as much of Hong Kong as they could in the 20-hours or so they had on the ground here.

Video: The xx speak to the Post

“The drive up from the airport was incredible,” said Oliver Sim, the other half of the singer/songwriter duo. “It’s a different kind of beauty. It’s incredibly industrial but beautiful at the same time. Seeing that up against the mountains, it was incredible.”

Many don’t expect this kind of excitement from a band that makes such seemingly sullen and melancholy music. But, then again, many of these songs weren’t originally planned for the public. The life-long friends were writing for and about their deeply personal struggles and, according to Sim, never planned to perform their songs for others, let alone thousands of people in different cities around the world.

“Some of them, playing [the songs] live, got hard. But then a lot of the songs took on new meanings.”

Touring to promote their latest album, Coexist, they’ve been on the road for almost a year and are grateful for the upcoming break so they can go back to writing, which they say has evolved since their debut album, xx.

“When we first began it was very much in our separate bedrooms writing and sending things back and forth by instant messaging”, says the soft-spoken Madley-Croft.

“It’s become a lot more confident,” says Sim. But, much like siblings (the duo have known each other since they were 3 years old), sometimes things don’t go that smoothly during these creative sessions.

“Yeah we completely fight like brother and sister, which is good. We argue about silly small stuff, we don’t really hold back with one another. Which is a good thing.”

Judging from the critic's reviews and excitement of the sell-out crowd at KITEC, their music is proof that their occasional disagreements are not just a good thing, but a great thing.