Despite adoring their debut album – the quieter, moodier, and more shy versions of themselves – I See You quickly became one of my favourite albums of the year when it was released, a mere thirteen days into the new year. I even dedicated an entire 8am Surge show to playing the album in its entirety, because it’s just a remarkable collection of songs.
Though it took me a while to stop playing album opener ‘Dangerous’ on repeat (to this day, one of the best songs to open an album with), once I got through the rest of it I found an album that shows Oliver Sim, Romy Madley-Croft, and Jamie Smith at their best, most confident, and most experimental. Lyrics are more reflective and personal than ever, and with every song, they reveal not only more about their internal thoughts but more examples of their expertise and excellence as musicians.
It was a dramatic departure from the moodier 2012 Coexist, one that made even more people fall in love with them. After all, how many other albums have prompted a week-long stint of sold-out gigs at Brixton Academy? Not only are Oliver and Romy so clearly more confident in their voices and sound, but the solo work undertaken by Smith during their album hiatus has done their sound the world of good. If you thought they were incredible before, I See You blows everything you thought you knew about The xx out of the water.
I See You was released on January 13 via Young Turks