Review: The xx – ‘Say Something Loving’

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It's The xx, but less moody. Come to adore the power in their voices and the new upbeat sounds I See You will bring.

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We’re so close to new album I See You, released on January 13th. We’ve already heard ‘On Hold‘ and ‘Say Something Loving’ continues to make it seem like we’re getting a more upbeat sound on the new record – vocals, changing from their relaxed speaking style, from both Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft are delightfully powerful and harmonised, and Jamie Smith’s work beneath continues with the deployment of a vocal hook from a 40-year-old Alessi Brothers track (“Before it slips away”) and close resemblance to the more subtle aspects of his solo work as Jamie xx.

Madley Croft and Sim’s voices remain strong, reflecting on their own insecurities (“Say something loving, I just don’t remember the thrill of affection,” sings Sim on the hook; “Am I too needy? / Am I too eager?” displays the struggle to understand how the newfound affection feels). Tonally similar to ‘On Hold,’ ‘Say Something Loving’ nods to their radio silence and being left hanging. Fortunately, it continues to form such a lovely return to music following 2012’s moodier Coexist. With everything sounding more upbeat and still uniquely tailored to the xx oeuvre, their experiments with new sounds are certainly paying off.

‘Say Something Loving’ is out now via Young Turks

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Second year PAIR student and live editor. Fan of cats, tea lover, can be found rambling about politics and cats at @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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