Jamie xx (née Smith) shot to fame in 2009 with his namesake group The xx, winning the Mercury Prize and soundtracking the next year’s political bickering on BBC1. Somewhat removed from the hushed indie soundscapes of the band, his solo work includes a stellar remix album for Gil Scott Heron (‘We’re New Here’) and the double single Beat For/ Far Nearer. May 5th brings a second double release with Girl/ Sleep Sound through Young Turks Records.
‘Sleep Sound’ exemplifies Smith’s ability to seamlessly place organic sounds and traditional instrumentation into a pulsing electronic framework. Disembodied voices weave in and out of rippling strings like a Gregorian chant as orchestrated by Eton Messy. Aside from a brief lull around two thirds of the way in, the track is devoid of any significant breakdown or upheaval as is often found in Jamie XX’s tracks, but rather than being monotonous this adds to the warm, enveloping sound. Here’s hoping there’s an album in the works.