The xx is an British indie rock group comprised of Jamie Smith (better known as Jamie XX), Romy Croft, and Oliver Sim. Their debut album was released in 2009 and topped many Best Of lists for the year (including my own), and now they are getting ready to release their sophomore LP sometime this year. The band is currently on tour debuting many of their new songs, and below you can hear the live recordings of them and get a glimpse of what’s to come on the next cd.

The first track is one that has been around the web for a little while now, originally entitled “As I Am.” Now, the group has officially named the track “Devotion” and it is absolutely stunning. The melody at the end when Romy sings “being as in love with you as I am” is beautiful, and I bet if you put this on with a girl over, she’d fall in love with you.

The next track, “Closer,” features both Romy and Oliver on vocals with overlapping harmonies, the signature xx guitar sound, and a chorus that sticks in your head after the first listen:

“Leave” is a slow, spacey track with Jamie xx providing a simple but elegant beat for the other band members to add instruments and dreamy vocals:

I am probably most excited to hear the studio version of the next song, “Strangers.” Instead of the usual xx-sounding beats, Jamie takes the route of his “Far Nearer” track with chill, island synths and keeps the song interesting throughout the seven minutes. The guitar breakdown at the 2:00 mark sounds really amazing with everyone clapping along in the crowd:

“Friction” could easily be the first single off the new record, with infectious vocals/guitars and a surprisingly dancey beat. My favorite xx songs are definitely those that features both Romy and Oliver on vocals together:

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