Never has an album sleeve revealed so much about the music to be found inside than Coexist’s minimalist bold statement with some fluorescents’ bleeding through. To further explain, Coexist feels like the musical equivalent of the artist Carl Andre, if you’re not familiar with Andre, here's a picture of one of his pieces:
Carl Andre’s piece may leave you with more questions than answers and that is exactly what the xx do with Coexist, songs are suggestions or whispers, they leave you and your imagination to fill in the gaps, so essentially this album is not just yours physically, but emotionally as well!
What’s special about this album is it feels authentic, it’s very poetic. The feeling of authenticity comes from the storyline of the album, which is almost audio voyeurism. You are listening (and watching in your minds eye) two people who don’t know where they’re going and whether or not they’ll end up going together, a relationship at the point of merely co-existing.
It’s this storyline that gives intimacy, so intimate that I would actually recommend listening to it through headphones, because it just sounds too intimate to play through speakers.
Coexist sounds almost insomniac at times; you’ll drift off with it until a sound or a moment sharply pulls you back with the sense of a heightened awareness, to further understand just listen to “Missing” and “Reunion.”
The unsung hero on this album is the bass, you’ll be so lost in the emotion you might forget all about it, yet after a few more listens you’ll realize just how quietly mesmerizing it is.
I’d thoroughly recommend going to see this performed live. I can already imagine how great this is going to sound at an intimate gig, acoustics and all.
Overall, this is a definite must have, but listen to it in the same way you would view Carl Andre’s art, with an open mind!
Best Tracks: “Sunset”, “Fiction”, “Tides” & “Our Song”