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Single by The xx
from the album xx
Released 27 April 2009
Format CD single, digital download
Genre Indie pop
Length 3:21
Label Young Turks
Writer(s) Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim
Producer(s) Jamie Smith
The xx singles chronology
"Basic Space"

"Crystalised" is the debut single by English indie pop band the xx. It was released on 27 April 2009 as the first single from their 2009 self-titled debut album.[1]

Music and lyrics[edit]

According to Robert Christgau, "Crystalised" uses a musical structure similar to "VCR", "hooky ostinato riff embellished with a few subtle effects, leading to a soft vocal. The exaggerated drawl of bassist Oliver Sim precedes the more human-scale croon of guitarist Romy Madley Croft."[2] Croft and Sim shared lead vocals, which Rachel Kowal from NPR said are "delivered in a sexy call and response fashion that is reminiscent of the duets" by Canadian indie pop band Stars on their 2004 album Set Yourself on Fire, "minus all the antagonism associated with ex-lovers."[3]

Like most of the other songs on xx, "Crystalised" was based on an imagined romantic scenario, developed from a verse Sim had written thinking about what a fling would be like: "I hadn't really had any relationships to be working off. But I had a huge interest in life, and looking at other people’s relationships around me." He wrote the first lines of the song, including "you applied the pressure / to keep me crystalised", and shared it through iChat with Croft, who responded with her verse, beginning with "I'll forgive and forget / Before I’m paralyzed." John Colapinto of The New Yorker critiqued that "the finished lyrics, some of their best, suggest a twisted love affair, but also hint at drugs and ecological disaster."[4]

Release and reception[edit]

"Crystalised" was first released in the UK on 27 April 2009 by Vinyl and on 25 November 2009 by Digital download and then again on 11 October 2010. It has been used in numerous advertisements and TV shows and has over 26 million hits on YouTube as of June 2011.[citation needed] It was sampled in the song "Less Than Zero" by K.Flay[5] and covered by Gorillaz whose version was included in the advertisement for Grey's Anatomy in late 2010. In 2013, it was covered and released as a single by Martina Topley-Bird, Mark Lanegan, and Warpaint.[6]

Track listing[edit]

UK iTunes single[7]
  1. "Crystalised" – 3:21
UK iTunes EP[8]
  1. "Crystalised" (Edu Imbernon Remix) – 7:23
  2. "Crystalised" (Dark Sky Remix) – 4:54
  3. "Crystalised" (Rory Phillips Remix) – 4:44
  4. "Crystalised" (The Neon Lights Remix) – 3:45

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[9] 14
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[10] 37

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
United Kingdom 27 April 2009 Vinyl
25 November 2009 Digital Download
11 October 2010


  1. ^ Anon. (n.d.). "The xx – Crystalised". Young Turks. Archived from the original on 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2009a). "The xx: Switching Roles In Song". NPR. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Kowal, Rachel (April 16, 2009). "The xx: 'Crystalised'". NPR. Retrieved July 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ Colapinto, John (2014). "Shy and Mighty". The New Yorker (30 June). Archived from the original on 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "K.Flay* - I Stopped Caring In '96 (File, MP3, Album) at Discogs". 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  6. ^ "Crystalised (feat. Mark Lanegan & Warpaint)". iTunes. 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  7. ^ "Crystalised – Single". UK iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  8. ^ "Crystalised – EP". UK iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  9. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-10-23" UK Indie Chart. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  10. ^ "The xx – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for The xx. Retrieved 6 November 2014.

External links[edit]