The XX Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to a new Indie Rock lesson! In this case I’m covering the style of a very new band which released their debut album in 2009. I am talking about the English band The XX formed in 2005 in London.

    Music Style:
    Their music is commonly defined as Indie Rock but they also have sounds that connect their music with dream pop, ambient, minimalist and electronic. I composed this tune in a different way compared to my other “in the style of” lessons. I didn’t analyze their music, I just listened to their sounds in the past and created something based on what I remembered. Then, I showed the track to my girlfriend who is a fan of this band. She said, wow! This sounds like a new track by them. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. This tune became a lesson but also the intro music for her TV music show called Onstage. The band has cited several artists in their influences: singer Romy Madley Croft has mentioned her liking for Jimi Hendrix, The Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Yazoo, Eurythmics,New Order and also The Cure. The XX have also been inspired by Cocorosie, Beyoncé, Electrelane, Cocteau Twins, Aaliyah and The Kills.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    This tune is in E minor tonality. The first progression used is Em - A and then we have an evolution of it: Em - A - C - D. As you will read in the texts in the slow video parts, the first idea has been composed using the arpeggios of both Em and A chords and the melodies using E minor scale.

    Their music is very simple and minimalist so you won’t find really tricky parts in this tune.
    However you will have to be precise with timing to make this sound good.

    I used my Pod HD 500 to create a tone based on the rocker side of JCM800 amps.
    The drums have been recorded using SSD 3.5 and the bass with Trillian.

    Click HERE to download the patch.

    Tuning: Standard 440

    Tempo: 100 BPM

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