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The xx On Hold video

NEW TRACKS: The xx - “Say Something Loving”

The xx released their third single just ahead of dropping I See You. Contrasted to the sound of their first two studio albums, “Say Something Loving” is a contemporary twist on the xx we have come to know and love. Even on first listen, this song stands out from the rest. The sound is less experimental and therefore more accessible; however, The xx have not completely departed from their sound. Rather, “Say Something Loving” marks an important step in their evolution.

Technically speaking, the single contains heavier vocals, melodies, and consistent, integrated percussion to tell a story. Lyrically speaking, the song is a brooding plea from the perspective of a lover, trapped in a spiral of unrequited love. The theme of the song parallels its sound: heavy, darker instrumentals layered with an anxious backbeat. When the music resolves, the story does not. The open-ended resolution of the song leaves a cliffhanger: the fate of the lover is unknown.

The group, led by co-vocalists Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, tied together by producer Jamie Smith (a.k.a Jaime xx), presented the right song at the right time. Conceived during a very trying year, “Say Something Loving” prepares the group to perform for larger audiences; each new release gains new traction and more and more fans flock to their shows.

I See You brings The xx’s first tour in nearly three years, making a stop at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday, May 6. Don’t miss this.

-Morgan McKee