The xx-Teardrops (Live on BBC Radio 2)

The xx have set such a stripped-back, barely-there baseline with their production that any slight increase in activity their music has makes it sound lively in comparison. That’s never more evident than here, as they take Womack and Womack’s throwback anthem for a spin, and come up with a typically xx take on it.

The original is famed for its empassioned, high-energy nature, and yet this darker, significantly more relaxed take on the track works worryingly well. The guitar work is a highlight, with the bass increasing in activity and bordering on unadulterated funk as the track progresses, whilst that trademark distorted (and somewhat aquatic? No?) string effect that they’ve utilised previously adds a more obvious layer of bright, sharp melody. Romy’s vocals are once again pitch-perfect from start to finish, whilst the sporadic inclusion of Oliver’s deeper and complementary tones are a lovely addition to create further depth. To my surprise, a studio version of this cover was released on a bonus disc that accompanied their debut album-couldn’t tell you where to find it, but I hope someone does as I’m desperate to own this. Phenomenal cover.

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