Almost a decade since perfecting the sonic art of the sparse electro-pop that continues to dominate airwaves in 2018, The xx is back in Manila to promote their latest album, I See You. Rogue catches up with the band ahead of their highly-anticipated return to the local stage.
I See You has been regarded as the biggest departure from your signature sound. Did you guys make a conscious move in this direction or did it feel organic considering Jamie xx’s side work as a DJ?
Romy: Working on Jamie’s album definitely opened us to completely different ways of making music, and this is something we organically took into the making of I See You.
What other music influences did you listen to while working on this album?
We have all sorts of influences from lots of genres—from classics like The Velvet Underground, Sade, and Fleetwood Mac to contemporaries we really admire like Solange, Savages, and our label-mate, Sampha.
Can you tell us what it is about your creative collaborations with Alasdair McLellan (who directed all the videos for I See You) that speaks to you?
Oliver: We’ve worked with Alasdair for quite a long time now. His work captures everything we’d wanted for this album’s visuals—youth, warmth, and beautiful skies.
You recorded parts of your latest album in Los Angeles and in Marfa, Texas. How did recording in these states influence your work?
We have a lot of love and respect for the people of the USA, having played hundreds of shows across the country over the past years. So, with our music videos, we hoped to reflect just some of the warmth and acceptance we have encountered there.
The music video for ‘I Dare You’ is described as a love letter to LA. What was your experience like filming in such a historic Hollywood locations as the infamous John Sowden House?
Oliver: We all love LA. We came back to shoot the music video there as we recorded a large part of the album there in 2014. Just being inside the John Sowden House was an incredible experience. Me and Jamie only became aware of its sinister past whilst we were there shooting. We tried to keep Romy from knowing until we were out of there in case she got freaked out!
THE XX LIVE IN MANILA IS ON FEBRUARY 7, 2018 AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER MANILA. GRAB TICKETS THROUGH TICKETNET.COM.PH. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THEXX.INFO.