For six years now, Jamie xx has made a killing fashioning shadowy, soul-seizing micro-symphonies out of otherwise commonplace, indie pop basics: electric drums, 808s, rhythm guitar.
And between the 20-something producer’s solo work to the xx’s own, small but hallowed discography, there’s gold to be treasured. The magnetism of Jamie’s melodies involves more than the ultra-emotive accents with which he hand-pairs, whether Romy Madley’s chilling, quaver-vocals or lyrics always dipped in despondency—it’s the fixed attention to detail: the paralyzing buildup of every track, as well as the intricate, almost bipolar wave of dynamics. And there’s an almost overwhelming space for one’s own thoughts while listening; to make sense of, or not make sense of what you’re hearing…or rather just let it attach to yourself.
Vivid and warm, “Loud Places” blooms like a wilted flower under the sun, but not without swallowing you whole in all its bright, hi-fi bliss: an ear-joy amassed by floor-thumping bass, a lone electric guitar that glows more with each resounding, and inter-woven beauty of Romy’s voice with colorful, layered falsetto samples. Madley croons a soft yet rousing first verse (“I go to loud places, to search for someone; to be quiet with, who will take me home…), but it turns up full-volume in a trampling, kaleidoscopic hook that takes the breath away—the effect, sheer elevation.
Jamie xx’s breakout studio album, In Colour is nearing its release. Check out “Loud Places” below: