i typically refrain from reviewing singles on this account, however, from Romy Madley Croft? her debut solo single? this has been well over a decade in the making, and it shows beautifully.
during verse one, Romy’s flow is reminiscent of Lauren Mayberry of CVRCHES: stopping midway through words after speeding through phrases is kinda baffling, and when paired with excellent electronics, the bass jumps all over. even the synths blend into the background as things fade until all focus is on Romy’s energy. her ENERGY. not voice, songwriting, flow, timbre, tune, pitch, etc. just energy remains in focus.
the intro is an incomplete snippet of the sample used in the chorus and throughout the song.
the sample is of the same line, “You’ll be right be-“, and the way it’s mixed sounds like Romy’s name is glitzing through the airwaves. sounds like “ROMY, Romy” rather than “you’ll be , right be...”.
house music vibes with high pitched “woo!” sounds lead to the ingenious pre chorus and following sample:
“If this world comes to an end
I wanna be there with you
Once in a lifetime (You'll be right beside me, I'll be right beside you)”
the lyrics are poetic and they are kinda submerged underneath all the magic production.
the song is about finding that once in a lifetime person - even at the wrong time,
And once in a lifetime something matters
I wanna tell you this matters to me
It's never the right time
So just let it happen”.
this passage benefits from Romy’s unflinching power, as it - alone - is the essential part of the song.
Romy’s previous work with the XX has not showcased her individuality; for no matter how minimal Jamie XX’s production becomes, the music cannot solely focus on Romy.
Jamie’s effervescent energy can interfere when by itself, if that makes sense. his amazing skills are added in the music as a constant. thus Romy is never isolated, in a sense. anyway, she is an expert songcrafter, and a brief change of scenery for Romy’s accompanying production works well.