“Loud Places” sounds more like an XX song than most of what Jamie XX has released so far as a solo artist. That probably has something to do with his XX band mate Rommy providing the vocals. Eekkoo is true to the XX’s minimalist style and is a fairly unobtrusive editor. Instead of changing the song, his little tweaks make it more danceable.
Eekkoo’s version shifts the focus from Rommy’s vulnerable delivery to a faster more consistent groove. Adding a kick beneath lyrics about looking for a party to compensate for not being with someone special changes the context of the song while staying true to the original theme. In Eekkoo’s hands the singer made it to the club and finds herself lonely in a crowded room, where the original’s pensive gradual rhythm emphasized looking for a place to escape their own thoughts and only implies that it’s not going to work.
For anyone not paying attention to lyrics, the biggest difference between Eekkoo’s edit and the original is tempo. He trades dreary bass for smooth synths giving the song a foggy atmosphere closer to chilled out than insecure. Jamie XX typically conjures up negative emotions by thinning out his beat and if it makes sense lyrically, emphasizing choruses by making them louder. Near the end Eekkoo does briefly abandon the beat to give Rommy a kind of last word. However, for most of the track his steady pulsing rhythm is sporadically interrupted by fades without every going away. This plays up the contrast between loud and quiet or alone and in a group by paralleling a clear voice with one being drowned out by a crowd. It also gives creates an inviting sense of forward momentum that overpowers any gloomy threads from the original. Bottom line, Eekkoo’s edit does a great job preserving “Loud Places” introspective qualities while giving it a more outgoing sound.
The track was released for free to promote Jamie XX’s upcoming album In Colour due out June 2nd. For more songs like it check out Jam City FM’s House Channel.