The xx’s Romy: ‘I can now write about loving a woman and not feel afraid’

The xx’s Romy: ‘I can now write about loving a woman and not feel afraid’

November 27, 2020

Her forthcoming solo album is a love letter to formative years of queer clubbing and 00s Euro-dance, as the singer swaps black clothes and bleak moods for Technicolor euphoria

The problem with being an introvert writing dance music is that eventually you will have to dance in front of other people. “I’m definitely quite a shy dancer,” says Romy Madley Croft over a video call from the home she shares with her girlfriend, the photographer Vic Lentaigne, in north London. In lockdown, with no prospect of live shows, this wasn’t a problem, but now she’s starting to nervously ponder how she will perform her upbeat, house-indebted new music. “It’s taken a long time to get to the place where I really enjoy being on stage.”

Fifteen years, in fact. The familiar image of Madley Croft is as bassist and singer with the xx, the band she formed with London schoolfriends in 2005: dressed in black, shielded by her guitar, expression ranging between pensive and troubled. Even performing a sparkling dance track on stage, such as Loud Places by her fellow wallflower and bandmate Jamie xx (“I go to loud places to find someone to be quiet with,” she sings on the chorus), she stayed largely rooted to the spot. Yet on the cover of her debut solo single, Lifetime, in an acid-hued image captured – like the ones accompanying this article – by Lentaigne, she is caught in motion, arms raised high, hair swooshed.

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