‘Islands’ is a brilliant choice of single for The Xx. Most of the tracks on their eponymous debut do not make much sense on their own, but ‘Islands’ makes its breakthrough brilliantly, the girl-boy vocals of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim provide a superb introduction to what the band is all about.
It’s short and sharp, with lots going on despite its typically understated charm, and even contains the closest thing The Xx has produced to a hook, in the repeat refrain of “I am yours now…”, a typically heartfelt and bed-cuddly line that makes The Xx the perfect alternative lovers band.
B-side ‘Do You Mind?’ is no different to the rest of The Xx’s material, which at the moment shows an ability to remain consistently excellent, but in future might show them to struggle progressing their sound. It’s typically sexy, with Croft and Sim inviting the listener to come home with the pair of them, over untypically brash drums. Minimalism is the key to The Xx and at some point they are going to have to bring new things to the party. But at the moment, we should just settle for what they are giving to us, the finest music by a new British band this year.As a gateway into the mysterious and wonderful world of The Xx, ‘Islands’ is majestic. But let’s hope they remain our little secret for now, yeah?
This review was written for Muso's Guide.