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The xx have created a devoted following thanks to their honest and emotional lyrics, which pair beautifully with their melding of classic rock instruments and synths. Having released their third album I See You in January, the group has already scored huge hits with their singles “On Hold” and “Say Something Loving.” But even with their own impressive list of hits, The xx have never shied away from taking on songs by their favourite artists.
From covers in concerts to paying tribute in the studio, here are the five best covers by The xx.
“My Love” — Justin Timberlake
If you didn’t know Justin Timberlake’s 2006 single “My Love,” you might have thought you were listening to a new single from The xx this week on the BBC’s Radio 1 Live Lounge. The trio completely revamped the R&B track, adding a darker element to the tune thanks to synthesizers and the dual vocals of singers Romy Croft and Oliver Sim.
“You’ve Got The Love” — Florence and the Machine
Florence and the Machine’s 2009 single “You’ve Got The Love” is one of the group’s most upbeat and successful pop singles, but sounds completely new thanks to this clubby and trance-inducing makeover. The cover features dubbing of Florence Welch’s vocals at the midway point, with Croft and Sim delivering a seductive whispering performance.
“I Miss You” — Beyoncé
It takes some serious musical courage to take on Queen Bey, but The xx completely rework Beyoncé’s 2011 track “I Miss You,” keeping the same raw somberness of the original while packing the song full of sound effects and loops.
“Too Good” — Drake and Rihanna
The xx have never been shy about showing their love for Drizzy. Released as part of Drake’s record-breaking fourth album Views, “Too Good” is a he said/she said exploration of a relationship on the rocks. The dueling voices in the emotional track provide prime cover material for The xx, with Croft and Sim trading beautifully breathy vocals throughout their dreamy rendition. Stripping the dance hall vibes and slowing it down, The xx craft a somber song that’s all their own — even performing the song a number of times in concert, much to the delight of fans.
“Finally” — Kings of Tomorrow
The xx typically cover big name artists, but in 2013 the band began covering DJ Sandy Rivera, who recorded the track “Finally” with Julie McKnight under the name Kings of Tomorrow. The xx performed the cover in concert and for radio, paying homage to the infectious dance track.