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Romy, ‘Mid Air’ review: neon salvation on the dance floor

On her first solo album, The XX star proves to be a singularly brilliant dance talent in her own right

4.0 rating

By Hollie Geraghty

Romy press shot, 2022
Romy released her first solo single in September 2020. (Photo: Press)

Since 2009, Romy Madley Croft has been known as the quietly entrancing co- vocalist and guitarist in London-formed indie trio The xx. After three albums, the band have dispersed to pursue individual projects in recent years.

Romy’s debut solo single arrived in 2020 with the Eurodance-inspired anthem ‘Lifetime’, a life- affirming rave about losing yourself in the music with loved ones when we were all still bound by lockdown rules.

On her first solo album Mid Air, the artist follows those dance instincts and relives the “celebration, sanctuary and salvation” of the queer clubs and dance floors that made her, championing a sound that she calls “emotional music to dance to”.

Tracks like the piano-laced ‘Loveher’ and sensual, sunshine-hued ‘She’s on My Mind’ offer a glimpse into the more romantic side of Romy, while the soaring beats of ‘Weightless’ capture the feeling of an all-consuming infatuation.

But it’s the pairing of intoxicating electro beats with such pensive lyrics that gives Mid Air its layers. The vibrant Fred again.. collaboration ‘Strong’ is as much a maximalist trance banger as it is a powerful comment on grief. “You don’t have to be so strong,” Romy whispers on the cusp of an explosive hook. Later, she indulges in dance-pop ecstasy on the infinitely optimistic ‘Enjoy Your Life’, which samples Beverly Glenn-Copeland and sees Jamie xx assist on production duties.

On her debut album, Romy charts the collision of life’s most visceral moments, where love, grief and queer joy can coexist on the dance floor — a place to fall apart and find yourself all over again in fleeting moments of transient refuge.