In our 2010 indie chart busting wrap up last week, there was of course a notable omission – the sophomore album by Vampire Weekend that was released in January on XL Recordings. Not only did the New York band crack the top five, they debuted at the #1 spot, which is quite an achievement for any label in the current climate let alone one of the world’s true independents. But XL is on a roll this year. Did you realize the xx album from The xx, on XL (now that’s a tongue twister) in a very stealth fashion has sold over 100,000 copies domestically? Not bad for a release that has barely blipped on the radar of most mainstream media. As with Vampire Weekend, a lot of blog mentions and a hefty dose of love from Pitchfork can go a long way, but such attention is not a guarantee of success. Looking at sales for some of the other blog favorites such as Neon Indian and UK buzzy acts Hot Chip and The Big Pink, they have all ambled along a similar sales plateau recently in spite of a significant blog presence. In all, that makes the sales for The xx even more impressive. The London trio is sure to spread the gospel even wider coming off a much talked-about dusk slot at Coachella and more upcoming US dates, including two sold-out shows in Los Angeles and appearances at the upcoming Sasquatch and Bonnaroo festivals. Also expect many to come out for support act Phantogram on the West Coast dates, as the highly rated Brooklyn duo are turning heads right now with their album Eyelid Movies on Barsuk Records and current tour with The Antlers.
One band that has a slew of high profile live dates ahead of them is Long Beach teen sensations Avi Buffalo. Coming off a recent runs with both Japandroids and Rogue Wave, the summer will see them sharing the stage with everyone from Modest Mouse and Sub Pop label-mates Blitzen Trapper to My Morning Jacket. Avi Buffalo’s self-titled debut album is out this week and has already garnered a 9/10 rating in Britain’s NME magazine.
- Cool Hand Luke