The xx Go Underwater in Gray, Glinting 'Chained' Video

Marc Hogan

"We used to be closer than this," sung by two voices in a whispery tone — and spacious synth-R&B arrangement — that suggests an enviable closeness already, makes for a wonderfully evocative hook. On the xx's "Chained," it's also representative of the London trio's overall sophomore album Coexist, where it's as if two lovers are constantly trapped in an excquisitely excruciating place-between also captured on Usher's recent "Climax." Pitchfork has posted a new "Chained" video, where Oliver Sim's vaguely sinister opening lines ("I watched you breathe in / And I wished you'd stop") gain the lung-choking context of fellow xx-er Romy Madley-Croft submerged in gray, sun-pierced water. It's directed for the Creators Project by the Young Replicant team, who also oversaw the clip for Purity Ring's "Fineshrine," another instance of body-menacing electro-pop intimacy. Be safe out there, kids.

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