Without a doubt, one of this generation’s most talented and intriguing outfits, The xx have a white hot allure that revolves around their being virtually untouchable (even and possibly moreso to each other.)
Having seen them a number of times, most recently a few years back at Coachella, their music and dynamic all teeters on push/pull tension that feels like Oliver and Romy are Richie and Margot Tenenbaum on a seesaw.
It’s not the reality, but an extremely well executed illusion that is born of a genuine history and kind of filial care.
What makes the illusion work, truly is that Jamie xx sits at the center of the seesaw, giving them a balance on which to go back and forth. It’s a true gift he has for producing exquisitely balanced tracks with shimmering layers of percussion that float over dense dub wobble, like glitter confetti frozen above and amidst a dark grey sooty smoke.
His first solo single “Far Nearer” was (and is) one of the most inspired dance tracks of the decade.
Layers of Grimesy pixie vocals (before that was even a thing) on bed of shuffly footwork beats…and steel drums. STEEL DRUMS.
I mean, they’re cool, but in theory and on paper that track could’ve really gone off like a fart in church. But, instead it’s the absolutely phenomenal opposite of fart, like really really awesome incense that you didn’t know you liked getting swung in a thurible by some cool church dude.
Anyhow, after doing some remixing and production work for various artists, Jamie xx is back with a brand new single off a solo full length coming in June called “In Colour”.
“Loud Places” is a skittering slow-burner that employs Romy of The xx on vocals.
Her broken hearted singing about some fractured relationship give it the feel of new work by The xx, but the secret weapon of “Loud Places” is the Idris Muhammad sample that gives the track a soulful, hopeful air.
It’s beautiful and devastating and a perfect example of why Jamie, Romy and Oliver are bona fide, real deal artists as superstars.