The xx Tease Their Return

Cryptic music clips, a BBC1 Radio performance…but what does it MEAN?!

Written by Live Nation Staff • Photography by Jim Dyson, Getty Images • November 9, 2016

UK indie pop favorites The xx have been off the radar the last three years, aside from frontman Jamie xx climbing the charts and winning the hearts of the indie dance scene. The long wait for their return is finally over. The trio is set to do a live performance on Annie Mac’s BBC1 Radio on Thursday, October 9.

In August 2015, the band posted on Facebook about new music in the works and fans have been eagerly anticipating activity from the group.

Now that it’s been well over a year since these talks of a new album, The xx have finally been stirring up some movement on Spotify. The musicians posted a curated playlist featuring “a selection of tracks [they’ve] been listening to while in the studio, updated weekly.” The xx faithfuls believe these tracks have been inspirational fuel for a year-long process of creating new material. The playlist included gems from Floating Points, Desert Sessions, Solange, Tirzah, Radiohead, Acid Pauli and The Velvet Underground.

On November 2, an uncredited and untitled 55-second-long instrumental clip was added to the playlist. Fans have been guessing is a preview of The xx's upcoming album (that has yet to be officially announced). The track title, artist and album name were all filled with a cryptic “-“, but has been credited to Young Turks Recordings, the band’s record label.

Just a few days later on November 6, the track was replaced with another untitled 55-second clip, this time featuring familiar guitars and echoed vocals. On November 7 the track was again replaced by yet another mysterious clip, which was followed up by the fourth piece of the group’s ambiguous audio puzzle on the next day. Though each of these clips emulate some distinctly xx-sounding audio in their own aspects, a fifth clip was released today, November 9, that sounded almost like it could fit as the introductory portion of the track released in the previous clip. Today’s preview features light, synth-y chord progressions with female vocals echoing, “hold on,” and was cut short at 30-seconds.

At this point, the band has their fans (ourselves included) in an anxious grip, eagerly refreshing their playlists for any further updates (or is that just us?). With their performance and interview with Annie Mac tomorrow, we’re all praying we finally get some real updates on this long awaited third album of theirs.

As the trio closes out the year with recently announced tour dates in Europe, Japan and South America, we hope they find some time to visit us in the good ol’ U.S. of A.