A new album by The xx was never going to be a world-conquering blast of pop maximalism. But compared to their earlier work, “Say Something Loving” might as well come from Charli XCX. The latest track from the upcoming album I See You seems to have absorbed the brighter themes and openness of Jamie xx’s star-making time away and warped it via their own melancholic filter.
The track is the third we’ve heard from their new album — including the jittery “On Hold” and “I Dare You,” which they performed on SNL — which is due out on January 13. It continues the trend of showcasing the band’s slightly more sunny disposition (in the same way that Glasgow is sunnier than Anchorage). The band has made it very clear that the new album is an attempt to break out of the mold created by xx and Coexist.
“Our comfort zone is a very small place,” Madley Croft told Pitchfork in a recently-published cover story about the creation of the album.
Oliver Sim seconded the idea that they needed to break free from their past, holding on to only what was necessary.
“There was so much pressure from ourselves about: What do people like about us? What makes us sound like us? What do we need to hang onto?” he said. “When we’re thinking like that, at our worst, we can end up sounding a bit like a parody of ourselves.”
The result of that soul-searching and general discomfort is a track like “Loving,” where the band heads outside and really lets their sadness breathe. Check it out below:
For more on The xx, check out our interview with Jamie xx from around the release of In Colour.