Single Review – The xx – Say Something Loving 

The London Indie and Dream Pop group are to release their much anticipated third album I See You on January 13th. Their second album Coexist from 2012 was hardly the archetypal difficult second album, but it was certainly not of the standard set with their debut two years earlier. It’ll be interesting to see where their third album falls after four and a half years of solo projects and stylistic changes; to see if they are capable of reinvention and versatility (the mark of great talents) or if they’re ready to cash in on the comfortable surroundings of their fan base. ‘On Hold’ suggested they were willing to open up their music whilst holding on to subtle quality that was the engine of their earlier work. 

‘Say Something Loving’ carries on this trend further. It opens with the stutter of a remixed track which leads into a cunningly arranged track which sets up a sweeping, swooning sound for it to collapse into a space of minimalism with staggered riffs and the echo of a clunky percussion and Oliver’s and Romy’s vocals. The track goes on to join both parts with more clever transitions and a production that accommodates this with whirring, electronic soundscapes. When you throw in the balance of the vocal duet, the smart shifts in sound and the subtle production from Jamie xx that provides a big return, you have the makings of a modern Pop ballad. A track worthy of kicking off 2017. 

Owen Riddle 

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