The new track by Britain’s best band the xx, ‘Chained’, is really rather lovely.
That trademark sparseness is still there, but there’s a warmer depth in this song than on the slightly underwhelming first release, ‘Angels‘, also taken from forthcoming sophomore release ‘Coexist’.
There’s a ‘In Rainbows’ era Radiohead-esque melody in the background here that, along with Romy and Oliver’s interweaving and converging vocals, delicately wraps itself around Jamie xx’s gently stuttering drum beat, before finally arriving at that other well-worn hallmark of the band: a haunting, skeletal guitar line to close things out nicely.
Whereas, pleasant as it was, ‘Angels’ felt like it could be a b-side from the first album, ‘Chained’ feels like a genuine little step forward for the band, without abandoning the sound which has brought them such deserved acclaim.
Coexist is released in the UK on 10th September.