This week has been a rollercoaster of mostly devastating news, and global concern continues to linger in the air over the recent election of Donald Trump for U.S. president. There’s no denying that during these days of frustration, we’re solaced by particular things — people, surroundings, creative expression. And well, if you’re reading this blog post, you might be doing so as an attempt to distract yourself from reality. Excellent, otherworldly art is more necessary than ever, which is why the Thursday release of the xx’s new single, “On Hold,” is so relieving.
Fans of the trio have likely kept Jamie xx’s (Jamie Smith) debut solo record, In Colour, on repeat since last year, falling in love with Smith’s tracks featuring fellow the xx members Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft, whose voices are now recognizable not only in the indie pop sphere, but in the dazzling, sometimes moody world of house and dubstep. In Colour was ingenious, and expectations for the xx’s newest material in four years are rightfully high.
But “On Hold” hasn’t disappointed, and it’s additional proof of how marvelous a producer Smith is. The single is crisp electronic pop — upbeat enough to shimmy to — and features a warped but well-utilized portion of Hall and Oates’ 1980s chart-topper “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).”
“On Hold” reminds us that in an incredibly imperfect world, some things can still sound pretty darn close to perfect. The song is housed in the latter half of the xx’s greatly anticipated upcoming album, I See You, scheduled for release on January 13, 2017 via Young Turks. Check out the track list below.
The xx’s I See You
2. Say Something Loving
4. A Violent Noise
7. Brave For You
8. On Hold
9. I Dare You
10. Test Me