To be honest, I’ve never truly been into The xx or any of their side-projects, Jamie xx included. He’s had a few tracks that I’ve dug a little bit, including some off of the collaboration with Gil Scott-Heron We’re New Here, but nothing has really WOWED me.
However, these two new tracks off of his upcoming album In Colour are breaking that trend. I’m very into both of them and the very different directions both take. “Loud Places” is a feel-good pop song with great vocals from Romy and a modern RnB backdrop. It’s also not super over the top electronic either, allowing the track to be at least more accessible to some.
The second, “Gosh” starts as a heady, grimy track with some signature deep, British sounding growls and deep bass. But wait a second, in the second half of the track, there’s this really euphoric melodic section that slides in real unassumingly. It starts as a bassy, deep synth melody that subtly ascends and totally changes the direction of the song. It just keeps going higher and higher until there’s some really blissful piano, bringing the track back into consciousness. I really like electronic tracks with a subtle narrative like that. Jamie xx could have just kept the “oh my GAWSH” grime beat from the beginning of the song and continued it for the whole thing, but he just slipped this cool, progressive melody that catches everyone off guard, all while the original grounding rhythm plays. It reminds me of Quirke’s track from last year “Break A Mirrored Leg,” if anything.
Definitely check these two out, highly recommended.