Review: The xx “Islands”

Directed by veteran music director Samm Farahmand, Islands was The xx 3rd sing from their 2009 self-titled album “The xx”. This subtle and smart video consists of a tracking shot where six dancers perform what seems to be the same choreography repeatedly in 12-second snippets. Which each take the dancers moves subtlety change, the women from the couple who open each take with a kiss, gradually moves her lips away till her partner is kissing her check instead of her lips; and her eyes are open instead of closed. The giant X behind the dances which starts out glowing so bright it spills onto the performers gradually dims, and The xx who sit on a sofa in the middle of the performance change their position with each take. These slight changes in the choreography continue with each take with each couple becoming more and more distant until the climax ends with the giant x on fire and all the dancers gone but two. One man kneeling dejected on the floor, and one female dancer going through the same movements despite the absence of her partner. It’s here you realise that through their dance, you’ve watched the dissolution of 2 relationships over time, something that started out perfect and in sync is not in flames. An interesting concept done well, this video will take a few watches to see all the changes but it’s well worth it.


Background image primrobbs threshold by Matt Gaser

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