New Audio: The xx’s Atmospheric, Slow-Burning, Quiet Storm-Inspired “Say Something Loving”

Initially comprised of founding members Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft, along with Baria Qureshi and Jamie Smith, who joined a bit later, the renowned indie trio The xx can trace their origins to when its founding members met while studying at Elliott School, a school in which Pierce Bronson, the members of Hot Chip, Burial and Four Tet attended — although the members of the band have publicly downplayed the school’s influence on their career. And with the release of their 2009 self-titled debut, the then-quartet quickly received critical praise across both major media outlets and the blogosphere as the album landed at number 9 on Rolling Stone‘s Best of 2009 List, number 2 on NME‘s Best of 2009 list, and along with that the band itself landed at number 6 on NME The Future 50 List and was named one of MTV Iggy‘s “Top 10 Bands with Buzz” at that year’s CMJ Festival. Additionally, album single “Crystalised” was featured as an iTunes UK single of the week that August. And adding to a quickly burgeoning international profile, the band toured with of Friendly Fires, The Big Pink, and Micachu, played an All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival curated by Matt Groening in Minehead, UK and played at some of the biggest Stateside music festivals — Coachella, Sasquatch!, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

The band’s 2012 sophomore effort Coexist revealed a subtle change in sonic direction as it was largely inspired by club music and their own experiences of returning from extensive touring to party with each other and with friends. And much like its predecessor, the album was written and recorded in relative isolation.

Over the past couple of years, the trio of  Sim, Croft, and Smith have pursued their own creative pursuits — most notably Smith released a solo effort or two; but they also managed over the course of the past two years to write and record their long-awaited third full-length effort I See You, which Young Turks Records will be releasing on January 13.  Recorded between March 2014 and August 2016 in New York, NY; Marfa, TX; Reykjavik, Iceland; Los Angeles, CA; and London UKI See You reportedly has the band writing and recording their most outlook-looking, open and expansive work to date. Interestingly, the album’s third and latest single “Say Something Loving
is a slow-burning and atmospheric pop song that possesses a Quiet Storm R&B/soul-like intensity paired with an urgently plaintive vulnerability and need; but along with that the song reveals that love is frequently a difficult balance between our past baggage, our crippling self doubts and the recognition that as much as we cherish love, that love rarely makes sense.