The considerable chemistry between the xx‘s dueling singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim seems like it might get sexual if the sparks flying from their electronic pop weren’t so quickly smothered by melancholy. We’re talking about more than just music for broken hearts here—skeletal drum programming and meager guitar lines with haunting echoes quickly turn those maudlin boy troubles into institutionalized dread with such mechanical precision it’s no wonder songs such as “Islands” helped earn them a nomination for Britain’s coveted Mercury Prize, not to mention a cover nod from Shakira. These are the slow jams of a bleak but beautiful future, which hopefully never comes to pass. Buck up, guys—babies don’t always have to come from test tubes. With Brooklyn synth-rockers Chairlift and Jack Peñate.

Sun., Aug. 8, 7 p.m., 2010

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 27, 2010

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