In November, some very lucky people received unsolicited mail that wasn't a sushi menu or an opportunity to add seven landlines to their internet (still not interested, Verizon). It was an invitation to see beloved chillwave outfit The xx in concert, during the trio's first string of live dates in two years. Though the band had revealed its scheduled slots at Lollapalooza's Brazil, Argentina, and Chile festivals, the tickets fans received were for previously unannounced European gigs in Croatia, Poland, and Lithuania.
Today, some US-based xx listeners shared news of their own special deliveries on social media. "I just got a free 7" and tickets to see The xx in Portland in the mail??" wrote one fan on Twitter. In addition to this Maine date, fan uploads have revealed shows in Dallas and Philadelphia, the latter scheduled for May 17.
The xx's long-awaited third album, I See You, is due next Friday, January 13. Before confirming its arrival — and officially releasing its lead single, "Hold On," with an accompanying video directed by Alasdair McLellan — the group had been mysteriously teasing snippets of new music through Spotify. Its studio playlist, which compiled tracks the band had been listening to while working on the record, was slyly updated with untitled clips of instrumental music. The lucky listeners who have received invites also received early copies of I See You on wax, so they'll soon know if these Spotify uploads do in fact appear on the album.
It's unsurprising that the xx would elect a more intimate strategy to reveal its tour dates. In 2014, the band took up a 25-show residency at New York's Park Avenue Armory. Despite the venue's cavernous size, each gig only accommodated 40 people. "This uniquely voyeuristic and deeply personal setting is the perfect oasis for the band to perform, while in the process redefining their music and their relationship to the audience that surrounds them," explained a statement released at the time.
As it turns out, these aren't the only invites Romy Madley Croft will be mailing. Earlier this week, the xx guitarist and co-vocalist shared news of her engagement to designer and visual artist Hannah Marshall on Instagram. Please Mr. Postman, look and see! Is there a letter in your bag for me?
Text Emily Manning
Photography Laura Coulson