August 2009. British record label Young Turks, presents The xx debut album and Mercury Prize winner. Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie ‘xx’ Smith, formed the band in London in 2005. Four years later, their self-titled debut is out, and in 2012, their second full length album ‘Coexist‘. The first two albums travel into a lo-fi nocturnal, electronic/dream pop space. On November 10, 2016, Hold On, the first single off their upcoming album is released, and on 1st January 2017, the second single, ‘Say Something Loving‘. Their much anticipated third album ‘I See You‘ was released on 13th January 2017.

What are we expecting from their 3rd album?

From the first songs as ‘Dangerous‘ & ‘Lips‘ we realize a soft turnaround to r’n’b, and more mainstream pop, evolving their sound yet always remaining into electronic pop fields. Regardless of the slightly different music direction, ‘I See You‘, offers us a bouquet of excellent, inspiring songs. ‘Hold On‘ starts atmospherically with a warm dialogue between Oliver and Romy, and ends up as a fast & pretty happy indie pop beauty! ‘Say Something Loving‘ sets off with an astonishing synth trick that drives into a seductive, crystallized vocal duet between Romy and Oliver. A brilliant highlight, in ‘Say Something Loving‘, is that it contains a sample from Alessi Brothers’ song ‘Do You Feel It?‘ (1976). Oliver’s warm, superb voice of at the beginning; simple, yet imposing synths and then Romy’s fragile whisper… almost a cappella, almost epic. The title of this song? ‘A Violent Noise‘ —contrary I would say… ‘Performance‘ is another sensual & sentimental acoustic feast, with the broken voice of Romy flying into crystal clear emptiness, accompanied by a trembling shoegaze guitar. ‘Replica‘ is a downtempo song that presents amazing electronic guitar instruments, while ‘Brave For You‘ is poised between ambient-guitar sounds. If you like indie pop, you’ll enjoy ‘I Dare You‘; fast, catchy, exquisite! The final track, ‘Test Me‘, closes the album with abstract ambient-nocturnal sounds.

I See You‘ is more eclectic, more delicate, more fragile, more female in a way, than its predecessors. It is a tiny step forward, a sensuous step full οf charm and pop loveliness.

Theodoros Rentesis