New music: The xx - Angels

Listen to the new offering from the xx – and tell us what you think

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It's surprising to think that the first xx album came out in 2009. It feels like they've never been away, such is their ubiquity. So when posters teasing their second album, Coexist, started popping up around London you'd be forgiven for thinking they were left over from the last campaign. And, in the nicest possible way, Angels could easily have come from that first album.

It opens with a familiar echoey guitar that could only be the xx, before Romy Madley Croft's voice emerges out of the ether. "Being as in love with you as I am," she whispers, as Oliver Sim's wandering bass hugs the song, their ability to make minimalism seem warm and comforting still intact. Perhaps the biggest surprise given Jamie Smith's recent production work – from his Gil Scott-Heron collaboration to producing for Drake – is that there is no sign of their rumoured dancefloor direction on Angels, a cluster of percussive beats rising up around the one-minute mark before fading out as quickly as they arrived.

• Angels is out on 17 July. Coexist is released via Young Turks on 10 September.


Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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