"Chained"

This second track from the xx's forthcoming second album plays Oliver Sim's vocals off Romy Madley-Croft's, and the result is like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell circling each other in a space station, uniting only for the relationship post-mortem hook: "We used to get closer than this/Is it something you miss?" Jamie XX's sleight-of-hand minimalism – the off-beat kick drum, the thunder-rumble ride cymbal, the rimshot syncopation – is no less intoxicating; at present he may be the most elegant beatmaker in pop. That they also have the best haircuts in indie rock hardly matters.

Listen to "Chained":

From The Archives Issue 1164: August 30, 2012
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