Life – Jamie xx, Robyn

Life begins in medias res – its head spinning horns warping into focus through bulbous filters, as if we’re entering the party at its peak. The latest single from Jamie xx and another taste of upcoming album In Waves (due in September) continues the UK producer’s foray into euphoric, sexy house with a subtle queer lilt. He’s joined force with pioneers of this style such as Honey Dijon on previous single Baddy On The Floor, and for Life he recruits one of queer club music’s foremost icons – Robyn.



Robyn has always been quick to catch on a vibe, understanding the assignment of mood and aesthetic, and adapting herself accordingly. It’s part of what makes the Swedish popstar a dream collaborator for dance music producers. On Life, she adopts a fierce, dominatrix attitude, rattling spoken word bits in the style of an MC at a vogue ball. xx’s production matches the energy – deep, strutting bass and spacious percussion are accented with glittery disco chords.


The power posing is contrasted by pockets of harmony and melody that at best, feel genuinely beautiful, and at worst, veer toward sentimentality. The barrage of references to queer and ballroom culture (‘gag!’, ‘10’s, 10’s, 10’s!’) can also feel a touch gauche, but xx stirs these in with such speed and energy, that it’s hard not get lost on Life’s visceral, heaving dancefloor. Also – Robyn, girl.


Download / stream Life here