The xx - "Chained"

The xx’s insanely anticipated sophomore album Coexist comes out next month, and we’ve posted opening track “Angels,” as well as a few videos of the band playing new songs live. And now the studio version of “Chained,” the album’s second song, has made its way to the internet. It’s a hushed but rhythmically tricky song about lovers drifting apart, and it’s just as gorgeous as you’d hope. Stream the song below.

Here are the lyrics:

I watched you breathe in
And I wished you’d stop
Only for long enough
Long enough


Separate or combine
I ask you
One last time
Did I hold you too tight
Did I not let enough light in


If a feeling appears
If your mind should sway
It’s not a secret you should keep
I won’t let you slip away

We used to be closer than this
We used to be closer than this
We used to get closer than this
Is it something you miss

We used to be closer than this
We used to be closer than this
We used to get closer than this
Is it something you miss

Winged or chained
I ask you
Would you have stayed
Did I hold you too tight
Did I not let enough light in


Coexist is out 9/11 on Young Turks.

Comments (42)
  1. The way this guy sings always reminds me of Flight of the Concords

  2. Burial meets EBTG.

  3. Sounds precisely like every xx song ever. It’s killer.

    Also — that cover art is awesome, and seems reflective of the two songs released so far: same aesthetic as their debut; just subtly tweaked.

  4. I’m conflicted. While I dig the song, I also feel like it could be on their debut album. Between this track and “Angels,” I’ve seen really no progression for Coexist. They’ve moved the vocals up in the mix, but that’s about all I got. I guess I was hoping for a bit more.

    • I’d have to disagree. I think both this an Angels would be completely out of place on the first album. There’s something about the production, and the drums in particular, that is completely different. Vocally and lyrically, it’s the same, but musically there is a definite progression here.

      • I’d have to say that these songs definitely sound cleaner. That’s the only way I can describe it. But though I’m a little initially underwhelmed, I DO like the track, so maybe I should just be happy that Jamie xx didn’t want to make a disco revival album.

  5. I like the version of “Basic Space” on the first album better…

  6. they sound bored

  7. does anyone else find this slightly too impressionistic and not song-y enough? there are cool ideas but i feel like it’s less effective/successful then what we got on xx.

  8. Neither of the songs so far do anything for me as songs… hopefully they’ll make sense in the context of the album, because I like what I hear. They’re just not satisfying as songs.

  9. Yeah uh I’m kinda not into this.

  10. I like this one more.

  11. Interpol, The xx, and James Blake are going to be headlining the Density Festival on September 3rd

  12. I hadn’t listened to The xx in a while, and then I heard Angels. This had the misfortune of coming along after I overloaded on ethereal auditory sex. Not bad, but Angels did a lot more for me.

    • I agree – I think the album was really judged unfairly. from the moment I heard machu pichu, i had auditory sex in my pantaloons, I was just happy to have the boys back!!

      looking forward to album 5 (if it happens :( ) fingies crossed!!! XXX

      lol I’m kidding,

      life is simple in the moonlight is the real standout, but machu aint far behind. (_)(_)

  13. both of the new tracks are weak….don’t do anything more or better than the first album highlights…hoping there’s a serious arc to this record to make it worth what all you critics are jerking about.

  14. Both new songs. Wanting to feel it. Not feeling it.

  15. this was pretty dece. when I heard the guitar I felt such appreciation for it, but then this made me wonder, “do I want to be manipulated?” then I thought “of course I do. I’m a puppet,

    for your love.”


  16. It’s very hard for me to imagine this not being one of the three best albums to release this year.

  17. Definitely not feeling this one as much as Angels (which I fucking love; beats or matches most of the tracks on xx, imo). At least right now.

    But I gotta disagree with the people saying it sounds like every other song from this band. This one has way more spring in its step than anything on the first album. Wouldn’t have gelled with the flow of that one at all.

  18. oooooooooooooooo i love this.

  19. Do we want the second album to merely be a Part II of their debut, or do we want them to expand their sound to something grander? Personally, I can’t answer that because Part I was so refreshing and unique, but now that I am two tracks into their second I’m saying to myself, wait, been there-done that. Its like Fruit Stripe gum…it sure tastes sticky sweet and yummy at first, but after a few chews, well, it feels like wax. If all I want is an unnecessary remake of an already established product, I’ll just rely on Hollywood to fuck that up for me.

  20. Really looking forward to this album…it already seems great
    I posted about Angels and also post about other music/opinions…if you are interested please check it out:

  21. This one is a little more interesting than their first single from their new album, but I’m still waiting for a “wow”.

  22. The problem with this band for me is that it already feels so dated and one trick pony. Was hoping for a bit of evolution but sort of just sounds like retread, and they don’t really have a ‘timeless’ sound.

    • it’s like someone bought an MPC and a guitar, listened to a few Cure songs, figured out they couldn’t play them, and recorded a few half-baked adult-crossover tunes in a few minutes. maybe not exactly but the bottom line is this song sounds like 99% of their previous material, which wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t worth the hype it got…

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