A lot has changed since 2012’s ‘Coexist’. Jamie xx, The xx’s percussionist, producer and general atmosphere creator, has truly established himself as a solo artist with his massively successful dance record ‘In Colour’. Armed with his now well defined individual style, Jamie has swung the band away from their sparse and understated days of old, and towards a grooving dance influenced future on their new single: ‘On Hold’.
The vocal styling of Romy Croft and Oliver Sim is as soothing and human as ever. The subject matter too is in the same old xx vein (love in case you’re wondering) as is the songwriting. The big change here is with the production. Without the shuffling beat subtly tripping over itself and the Hall and Oates sample the song could be off either of the band’s first two albums but instead, it sounds like a new solo project from Jamie.
The song does have flaws, its structure is very uniform and doesn’t really progress but it bodes well for the upcoming album, ‘I See You’, which is set for release in January. It suggests a move away from the excellent but very much explored sound of the band’s previous records and a move towards one where Jamie plays more of a lead role. Also I’m gonna call it now, The xx are headlining Glastonbury.