The xx builds popularity, heads to Merriweather

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

Here's a snapshot of the xx's growing popularity: On Tuesday, someone posted a photo on Facebook of the British indie pop band at sound check before a show in Columbus, Ohio. Within 15 minutes, the photo had 800 likes and multiple comments from around the world.

While such traffic would be a blip for a mega-band such as U2, it is quite remarkable that the trio received such swift responsive to a Tuesday afternoon shot from a sound check in Ohio.

"I think it's incredible, but I take it with a pinch of salt," said Oliver Sim, bassist, co-songwriter and co-singer of the xx, speaking before the show in Columbus.

The xx performs Sunday, co-headlining with Grizzly Bear at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Onstage
The xx and Grizzly Bear
» Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion
» When: 6 p.m. doors, Sunday
» Info: $30 to $40; 410-715-5550, 877-435-9849; merriweathermusic.com

The last couple of years have been busy for the xx. which includes Romy Madley-Croft and Jamie Smith. The band released its well-received self-titled debut in 2009, and followed that up with "Coexist" last September. The band has been touring since May 2012, and will continue to do so until the end of the year.

"Romy and Jamie, I've got two of my best friends on the road with me," Sim said of survival on the road. "I've been gigging since I was 16 and I've been touring I was 19. I feel comfortable with it now."

Another thing that Sim has grown more comfortable with is press attention. He admitted that those obligations to feed the media beast outweighed the band's creative pursuits last year.

"It's kind of eased off a bit," Sim said.

In touring so much but with only two albums to tap, Sim said that the band works to keep the set list and performances fresh, if not to keep the fans happy, then to keep the band's sanity.

Sim also added that the reception to the band in the United States has been positive.

In addition to its current tour with Grizzly Bear, the xx has played a number of festivals this year, including Coachella and the Governor's Ball

"I really do enjoy festivals now," Sim said. "You have to surrender a bit of control and you have to realize not everyone there has come to see you."

The xx doesn't have any new music in the works, but it did have a track titled "Together" on the soundtrack of the recent "Great Gatsby" film adaptation.

"We only saw it a about a week and half ago in Canada," Sim said. "It was just surreal hearing our music in a cinema."

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Robert Fulton

Examiner Correspondent
The Washington Examiner