Pictures at Eleven truly plays as the incense stick burns—it burns solidly, it takes time to fill out the room and it can create some serious nostalgia.
With The Spark everything changes. Each time I feel like I have listened to a band who grew up in the same area as me. The same stomping grounds as I. Over 12 tracks, Sol Seed dials me into my Oregon roots and the many musical experiences of my life.
The band sounds gracious yet geared from the get-go, crafting a band anthem in “Family Tree” replete with reggaetón, record scratches and some swaggering horns. This is the band’s “Bad Company,” a title track resonating with more happiness and horns than Bad Company.
But from first listening to Sol Seed's Grown Deep, it was easy to see the name of the game in reggae involves the exposure of real life social situations in popular musical format. It’s like hip-hop with melody.
After teasing for years, after Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim went off as hermits and after Jamie Smith went across the world and back touring the house music scene with his solo debut, In Colour, I wanted to know how Smith’s newfound luscious production would mesh with the trademark minimalism of the xx.
In Colour is a companion piece. It's a showcase, an oasis for the earbuds.
The xx know how to break your heart. And they only need a pair of headphones to do it, too