The xx is back and ready to begin “a new era.”
The xx debuted a glistening new track, “On Hold,” Thursday and announced its third album, I See You, set to be released January 13.
I See You will be the British indietronica group’s first full-length release since 2012’s Coexist, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts and #1 in four countries. The xx rose to fame with xx, its 2009 debut. xx was released to widespread acclaim and eventually won the 2010 Mercury Prize, which is awarded to the year’s best album in the UK and Ireland.
Prior to its unveiling, the band teased I See You by releasing three mysterious instrumentals, each one untitled and 55 seconds long. While not directly attributed to the xx, the snippets had a similar feel and were credited to Young Turks, the band’s record label. The instrumentals were a part of the Spotify playlist the band says it has been listening to while recording I See You.
“On Hold” sticks true to the xx’s signature minimal style of music. However, it creates a far more exuberant atmosphere. The hook samples the 1981 Hall and Oates hit “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” and exudes house vibes on par with Daft Punk. Young Turks previously called I See You “a new era for the London trio,” and “On Hold” certainly feels fresh.
“We let go of any sort of rules we had for ourselves before,” Romy Madley Croft, guitarist and vocalist, told Beats 1’s Julie Adenuga.
“On Hold” is true to that unrestrained ideal, and if it is any indication of the album’s direction, listeners will be in for a treat come January.
The xx have European tour dates set for later this year. The band is also scheduled to play four spring festivals in South America, but has not yet announced any U.S. tour dates. However, the band can be seen November 19 on Saturday Night Live. Former SNL cast member Kristen Wiig will host.
Listen to “On Hold” below.