Single Review – The XX – On Hold

The London Dream Pop trio have almost taken a cult status amongst the hipster media that elevates them beyond scrutiny. There have earned this reputation in part by being so damn talented and producing a different and intriguing first album. Their second effort, Coexist did not reach that level, but was a strong album nonetheless. It doesn’t mean they’re infallible though and they’ll have to respond in a way with their third studio album I See You which is expected on January 13th. 

Their first single from this album is ‘On Hold’ and signals a fairly significant shift in the tone of their sound. Echoed and drawn out riffs with wispy synth chords remain, but these are met with a rolling bass, a pacey, yet understated percussion and bolder vocals from Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim. Jamie XX’s production has developed with his solo album last year and he now seeks to put a greater focus on melody and harmony. This song can definitely take its place in a brilliant album, but will The XX deliver it? 

Owen Riddle 

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