The xx have revealed their new single ‘On Hold’ – the first track from upcoming album ‘I See You’, due out in January.

The track is the band’s first material since the minimalist-pop of sophomore album ‘Coexist’ in 2012. Recorded between March 2014 and August 2016 in a variety of places including New York, Reykjavik, and London, ‘I See You’ marked a transitional period for the band where they also worked on their own projects (such as Jamie xx’s debut album ‘In Colour’ in 2015). Despite this, ‘On Hold’ is surprisingly upbeat, bringing an open-minded approach to their sound.

‘On Hold’ is a synth heavy track with a groovy bassline and drumbeat. It still contains the airy, minimalist synths and guitar, but the sample from Hall and Oates’ ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’ brings something fresh to the table. The dual vocals of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim sound more confident than ever, while Jamie Smith’s dance-influenced production works superbly.

On the strength of ‘On Hold’, The xx seem intent on creating a sound for dancefloors and widening their palette. If this is what the rest of ‘I See You’ sounds like, we’re in for a treat.

‘I See You’ will be released on Young Turks on 13th January 2017. Listen to it below:

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