Romy – Mid Air
Since forming in 2005, The xx have earned a loyal fanbase with a blend of indie, electronica and shoegaze; they won the Mercury Prize in 2010 for their debut and have released two subsequent albums. Romy now follows in the footsteps of Jamie xx and Oliver Sim by releasing her debut solo record, Mid Air. This is a departure from the indie-based elements of The xx, reflecting her love of dance and house music, and is further proof of the range of influences for all three members of the band. Romy first teased solo music in 2020, with her debut single, Lifetime, which doesn’t feature here but offered plenty of signs of promise.
From the opening beats of Love Her, it’s clear this is more of a dance album, starting as it means to go on and building to a frenetic beat. Weightless sounds more in the vein of The xx, with subtle guitars in the background before developing into a different beast altogether. Romy clearly understands this style well, having worked with the likes of Fred Again; the production is immaculate, clearly a vessel for her to channel her creativity and explore her emotions further.
Strong (which features Fred Again) is a standout, with an infectious groove, allowing both artists to work in tandem and highlight Romy’s vocals – hopefully, this isn’t the last collaboration between the pair. Capturing the singer’s love towards others (which is reflected across the record), The Sea is a stunning track. Later, Enjoy Your Life brings a relentless sense of optimism and hope, and it is impossible not to crack a smile while listening to it.
There is such a fantastic energy and rhythm to this album that it is sure to go down a storm with xx fans and fans of house music. Incredibly fast-paced, it goes by in a blink and will reward plenty of listens. It’s definitely a side Romy should explore more in the future, and it will be intriguing to see the route for future projects.
Mid Air is an ode to dance music and the club culture that has helped shape the artist into who she is today. It’s clear from the outset that this is a different sound, but one she has clearly poured her heart and soul into; while it’s a departure from The xx, it is intriguing to see Romy’s growth, and how she fares away from the familiar sounds of the trio. We can only hope this isn’t her last solo foray, given more music is promised from The xx as well. In the meantime, this is an exhilarating and refreshing solo debut.
Mid Air is released on 8th September 2023. For further information or to order the album visit Romy’s website here.
Watch the video for the single The Sea here: