Tuesday, 8 December 2009

27. Shelter, the xx (2009)

Because it's sometimes too simple to look back and look far. Too easy to forget the songs, and the feelings, that have come into life lately. A dark room in the ICA, four shy teenagers, their music so spacious, every tiny part of it shining with magic, with light, and with power. The album in the kitchen, again, again, again, the first one for years to have that sort of impact, the sad, country guitar sounds, the electronics, the darkness, the sink filling with water, over my hands, over the sides, to the floor, as I stood there, captured by it, letting it in.

Sometimes I think that music is an agent of witchcraft, a spell – it can wipe our minds clean, it almost will us to merge with it. It makes me feel just like Shelter suggests – "Could I be? Was I there?/ It felt so crystal in the air". Hearing it in my kitchen, in Dan's living room, on my headphones, in the Hoxton Hall, in the Village Underground, in the Bowery Ballroom, and it taking me away, burrowing me inside it, every time. Hearing Romy singing, "Please teach me gently/How to breathe", my chest rising for her.


  1. My album of the year! Loved your NME piece too!

  2. One of the best bands of 2009.