Single Review / Hold On – The xx

After a long and hard wait, The xx have finally returned. Following Jamie xx’s success in 2015 with his debut album, In Colour, it comes as no surprise that the band are back and better than ever with their new single, ‘Hold On’.

The single is the first track lifted from their new album, I See You, set to be released in January 2017. Immediately you can hear a difference in ‘Hold On’ from their previous work. It sounds like the colliding of their two (now quite different) worlds, with Jamie xx’s electronic, sample-laden production marrying beautifully with the crestfallen tone of the lyrics: ‘When and where did we go cold? / I thought I had you on hold’. It sounds like The xx of old with a new lease of life, something I am sure fans of the band will happily embrace.

The familiar vocals of Romy Madly Croft and Oliver Sim are gorgeous, as the two sing of the naivety of love and how their view on it has changed. On hearing the track for the first time, it is easy to miss just how deep the lyrics are, of a changed view and altogether darker outlook: ‘My young heart chose to believe / We were destined / Young hearts / All need love / Call it a lesson’. Being their first single as The xx for three years, hearing it gives off a warm, comfortable feeling, like that of reuniting with a familiar friend after a long time apart: it just feels right. With the infectious and rapid heart-beat style rhythm, it leaves us intrigued as to what else they have in store for us in the new year. And besides, who can resist a Hall and Oates sample? ‘Hold On’ ticks every box, and I for one cannot wait to hear the rest of their new highly-anticipated third album.

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[Originally written for Redbrick]

Image credit: DIY

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