Modern musical romance is tough.
We've got Taylor Swift dating the whole world and putting their faults on blast. We've got Katy Perry and Ke$ha teaching us the ways of meaningless, drunken sex. Then we've got Drake and Lil Wayne blabbing all about having a kept woman perpetually sprawled out on the bed in some paid-for penthouse apartment.
But what about those last remaining soft-souled individuals who've been holding out for real love, even when the only thing they've ever known is heartbreak? Well, they listen to the XX.
This Tuesday, the English dream-pop outfit will bring its haunting, hollow-drum heartbeats to the Fillmore Miami Beach. But just in case you can't snag a ticket, we at New Times have prepared a four-part guide to the XX's lessons in love and loss.
After all, let's face it — you're going to love someone, and they're probably going to shit on you. Here's how to handle it.
Love with complete devotion: When you finally find that special someone to whom you want to "give it all on the first date," take a note from the XX's moody "Our Song" and don't hesitate. You can't be afraid of the moment. This is your mantra: "All I have, I will give to you/And at times when no one wants to." Look, you found love. Someone touched you between the sheets. You are theirs now. So you don't ever have to leave.
Try not to hold too tight: This is basically impossible, because you love with 100 percent devotion. It's a real tightrope walk, trying not to confess everything but still giving your all. Slip a bit — and now you're smothering your beloved. As the XX's "Chained" lamentably asks: "Did I hold you too tight? Did I not let in enough light?" Yeah, you should have learned from the last time, but you're probably just destined to be alone.
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When it's over, be as melodramatic as possible: Oh no, you did it again. Something was wonderful. Now it's broken. And as the XX bemoans on "Heart Skipped a Beat," you're stuck "struggling to get in, left waiting outside your door." Once upon a time, you were so "sure [they'd] give [you] more." But now, like the XX on "Shelter," you'll have to "cross oceans like never before, so [they] can feel the way [you] feel." That heartless bastard took your heart and crushed it, and now you can't give it up to someone else's touch, because you care too much. Didn't they hear you wailing: "Whenever you leave, teach me gently how to breathe"?
It's probably not going to work out, but fuck it anyway: Yes, things are doomed to fail. Just ask the XX. There is, the band admits on "Reunion," always "an end to us with someone else inside." And obviously, it sucks to see a relationship collapse, but that's life. Try, fail. Try again, fail. Fucking try again, fail. Rome wasn't built in a day, and movies like The Notebook are all bullshit. Everything comes with an expiration date, but that doesn't mean you have to give up forever.
Do something cathartic and get back out there. As the XX's "VCR" proclaims: "I want to find myself by the sea, in another's company." And when you find that next noose by which you're sure to hang yourself, don't get scared off by the gloom ahead. "I want to go out to the pier, gonna dive and have no fear."
Now, isn't that helpful and uplifting? Go get 'em, tiger.