The xx have long been a favourite band of mine, but with their two previous albums, xx and co-exist having been released in 2009 and 2012, they’ve remained fairly quiet since, with Jamie xx having made a huge name for himself in the last two years. But now, they are back and whilst us eager fans wait for the new album, we can listen to their new single, ‘On Hold’ over and over.
I had high hopes and expectations for the new single, and was not disappointed. Despite the rumours of the trio releasing new work, I don’t feel like anyone expected the curveball that the band have thrown with this single, which includes a sample from the 80s track ‘I Can’t Go For That (No One Can)’. However, the distinct calm and stripped back sound of the band is still present, but there is definitely more of a dance/electronic vibe from this single, which seems to follow on from Jamie xx’s album ‘In Colour. The vocals of Romy Croft and Oliver Sim once again work perfectly alongside each other, with thoughtful lyrics, typical of the duo. This single definitely suggests that The xx have taken an unexpected new direction, but still managing to incorporate the emotion they provided in their first two albums.
The single sets a new path for the band, who have said they were aiming for a ‘new sound’ something more ‘open and expansive’. Whilst most fans seem to be impressed with the new work, waiting eagerly to hear just what else this mesmerising trio can produce, some are less happy. I guess not everyone embraces change, but I think this is exactly the direction The xx had to move in to place themselves firmly back on the scene.
Their third album ‘I see you’ will be released January 13th and I’m predicting big things for the band in 2017, hopefully with a UK tour to be announced too. I guess we’ll be ‘On Hold’ until then, something us xx fans will all be used too, so a few more months can’t hurt.