The sensibilities that first drew the world to Romy in her days fronting The XX have remained on a debut outing which celebrates her influences with a personal touch.
Combining electronic dance with emotional melodies to create timeless music is ingrained in her work ethic and this shows on Mid Air. Spreading her wings to craft her own sound; personal experiences have added a more passionate edge to the record. It’s an album about love and intimacy, blooming feelings and, crucially, being a woman in love with another woman in this society.
Stripped back opener ‘Loveher’ builds into a crescendo of pride. As insignificant as it should be in this day and age, it’s still incredibly heartwarming to hear a female singer include she/her pronouns in her music. Let alone is it adding to the personal aspect of the album but it’s offering visibility in a genre where it’s still rare for a female musician to sing about loving a woman. There’s a Fred Again echo in here (he contributed to the production on the record) but – let’s be real – Romy and Jamie XX were the OG Fred Again. The club classic piano always adds excitement to a track which can stand proud alongside those that filled out dance floors 20 years ago.
Mid Air also plays out as a scrapbook of all the influences that have been part of Romy’s catalogue over the past 15 plus years. The acid touch on ‘Strong’ is incredibly reminiscent of early 00s trance. ‘Twice’ has a more EDM flare to it, bringing Calvin Harris to mind as it builds and builds. ‘Enjoy Your Life’ is an instant floorfiller and is infectious with its disco beats and uplifting vocals.
‘Weightless’ floats away on airy layered vocals and a rhythm of two excited hearts joined together. It captures the euphoria of falling in love, the excitement of realising that your life in that moment is changed forever. The sound that Romy has created on her debut has seen her return as a musician with an ecstatic boom. This is the type of pop that will live on through club DJ sets, festivals and bedroom dance sessions. Unlimited in its expression, Romy is communicating a message of embracing emotion and to keep on dancing.