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Difficult-second-album syndrome: it’s a plight that has afflicted many bands who have struggled to live up to the heights achieved by their debut.

And then there’s the curse of the Mercury Prize, another anguish that has struck down many past winners – Roni Size, Klaxons – who have picked up the gong and disappeared into the ether shortly after.

The xx have both challenges to overcome now, but if the lead singles from their hotly anticipated sophomore album, Coexist, are anything to go by, it’s not a worry that’s troubling them. 

The London-bred trio and their atmospheric, electro-indie sounds shot to fame with their 2009 debut xx, collecting plaudits like they were going out of fashion en route to swiping the 2010 Mercury Prize (beating competition from the likes of Mumford And Sons and Dizzee Rascal).

Tracks such as VCR, Crystalised and Islands became instant classics, and they soared to popularity with a sound – sultry, low fi and truly haunting – that was entirely The xx’s own.

In the fallout, after touring relentlessly and playing festival shows across the world, Jamie xx (aka Smith) embraced production duties elsewhere for a while and they all got some much-deserved downtime before the band broke cover to reveal how club music was shaping their follow-up.

If you were fearing a dubstep-riddled offering, fear not, as lead singles Angels and Chained pick up where their debut left off – they’re minimal, sparse and masterfully textured songs coated with Romy Madley Croft’s trademark whispered vocals. Don’t miss!

O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, W12 8TT
Sept 10-11 | Doors at 7pm |  £35
Tube | Shepherd’s Bush


The xx will showcase new tunes at Shepherd's Bush Empire, September 10-11
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