There’s something to be said for listeners of electronic music who adamantly avoid the club scene. For introverts like myself, the realm of electronic has the ability to take us to higher places than the so-called exceedingly preferred loud places, so to speak, of a packed club. Not to mention the unwarranted drug and bro scene that seems more fitting for a comedy or documentary than real life. Grab a pair of headphones, take a stroll through the city and you’ve got your own personal utopia.
Yet for all of those quiet nights from discreet individuals comes the noise of the mind in the form of music. In Jamie xx’s case, one-third of London trio The xx, (and who also goes by Jamie Smith) the eleven songs that make up his highly-anticipated debut LP, In Colour, are just what introverts have been waiting for to start their own movement.
After diving into the ethereal goodness that is “Girl” last year, along with a pretty impressive mix of previously released tracks, In Colour has been a long time coming. Appropriately titled, the album brings you through a kaleidoscopic journey into unknown territory. He’s changing up the game for electronic music, dodging the dying chipmunk beats for a more subtle, seducing aesthetic with a plethora of surprises along the way. From loud nights in London to an island on the Caribbean, Smith takes you on a journey around the globe in the span of less than an hour.
Featuring fellow xx band members Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim on a couple of tracks doesn’t hurt, either, giving the album a familiar xx-feel with a glimpse of what might be on the horizon for the band’s third record. “Loud Places,” featuring Croft sticks out the most, heeding the notions of trying to follow someone in a world you’ll never feel a part of. “You go to new places with I don’t know who / and I don’t know how to follow you,” reminds me of my last encounter with someone I still don’t know how to grasp. It’s my personal ode to those who reject the bar and club scenes and who want something more substantial to work with. It’s a constant back and forth of wanting to experience the loud places, the connections and the highs, yet refraining because it’s all temporary and deceiving when you’re young – not to mention that never-ending feeling of never seeing eye-to-eye with others.
In Colour is an album about being young, however you define it. Along with its game-changing sensibilities, this is one album our generation is going to look back on twenty years from now and recollect how anxious we were; how one album, over the course of our young lives made a difference. Whether played in a club or in the privacy of our homes, it got us thinking about how music has evolved and how it continues to surprise us every day.
No matter where you think you belong, (or don’t) having this album in your collection pretty much symbolizes escape in some shape or form. Put your headphones on. It’s gonna be OK, kid.
In Colour is available now here.