“If I scream at the top of my lungs, will you hear what I don’t say?” are the first lyrics you hear from the song “performance” on The xx’s new album “I see you”. The lyrics are accompanied by a slow synthesizer and a bass riff, creating a dark atmosphere and setting the mood for the sad song. There’s no doubt that this song is extremely emotional. The lyrics are easy to relate to for anyone whose been through a breakup and when you listen to it it’ll remind you of your first heartbreak, making you nostalgic and missing that person you forgot about so long ago.
The song is full of raw emotion and not once is taken over by any upbeat climaxes or beat changes. It’s a singular song with the same riffs, same sound and same meaning. The focus on the song is definitely on the lyrics, which seem to tell a story of someone leaving a relationship. The speaker left because they knew that the other person involved in the relationship was not happy. So she puts on a “performance” meaning she pretends to be OK when really she’s not.
Romy Madley Croft, in charge of vocals and guitar in the band, sings the song in a beautiful alto, occasionally changing her pitch into a soprano. This song shows her vocal range and also her ability to portray a character simply through her singing abilities. This type of song is not a ballad that you’d hear in modern music, which makes it a nice change to listen too. It’s a song you’ll want to buy and add it into that one sad playlist you have on your phone that you listen to when it’s raining out or when it’s 4:00 am and you’re lying in bed wide awake. My playlist is called “Useless Thoughts” and this song is on replay.
Check out the song here on soundcloud!