A few years back a few London high school kids formed a band called The XX and almost instantly won over critics and the masses alike with their effortlessly cool, atmospheric indie rock. After two wildly successful studio albums, they’ve been on a bit of a hiatus.
One of the bands members, Jamie Smith, better known as Jamie XX has stayed quite busy. His music talent, too much to bottle into one project, he has produced a few fantastic stand alone tracks as well as a stunning re-work of Gil-Scott Heron’s I’m New Here titled We’re New Here.
Now finally, we are on the cusp of a debut album, titled In Colour, and all signs pointing toward it being a masterpiece. Case in point… “Loud Places”, which actually features the vocals of The XX bandmate Romy.
The track is somehow heartbreaking yet inspiring, a dance floor anthem yet perfect for a rainy late night, colorful yet dark, it’s amazing. Jamie XX attacks music with a maturity and control that is unparalleled. He juggles Romy’s soft vocals, a Idris Muhammad soul sample from the 70’s, spacious synths, melodic strings and swelling rhythms to create a moving journey that will give the next song you are about to play next some serious stage fright.
Perhaps no one in music other than James Blake uses every centimeter of sonic space better than him. Must be a London thing….
Jamie XX is on his way to becoming one of the most prolific artists of our generation. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.