Download Den: Atlas Genius – Islands (The xx Cover)

Keith Jeffery

This morning, I posted my review for Atlas Genius’ infectiously vibrant debut EP, Through the Glass. “Trojans” was a genuine DIY hit before well before the EP’s release, but “Back Seat” and “Symptoms” will reach comparable heights if there’s any justice. The fourth and final track on that release is the Crown City Acoustic version of “Trojans,” the song that introduced this band of Aussie brothers to the world and sparked a flurry of interest from labels. The acoustic version strips the songs to its barest bones, and “Trojans” is transformed from “electrifying indie pop ear candy” into a beautifully somber ballad. It’s up to you which version you prefer best, but the tonal shift is stunning regardless.

Atlas Genius frontman Keith Jeffery pulls off a comparable feat with this recent cover of The xx’s “Islands” from the minimalist Brits’ Mercury Prize-winning self-titled debut. What you won’t get here are the alternating male-female vocals that make The xx so heartbreaking and sensual on repeated listens, nor will you get any of Jamie xx‘s groundbreaking stylistic touches. Here, Jeffery takes a song of minimalist perfection and makes it even more minimalist by pulling away all but the guitar and vocals. Nobody is saying it’s better than The xx by any means, but it provides a new perspective and gets better with every listen.

Download: Atlas Genius – “Islands” (The xx Cover)

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