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For Romy, dance music is best when it 'pulls your heart out'

Romy
Bryan Novak
/
Courtesy of the artist
Romy

What song would you include in a playlist called Emotional Music To Dance To? For Romy, that mix would include late '90s and early 2000s dance anthems like Sonique's "It Feels So Good" and Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone."

It'd be a collection of songs that Romy heard sneaking into Soho clubs as a teenager growing up in London. It's that world of entrancing dance music, and the memories attached to them, that color Romy's vibrant solo debut, Mid Air.

Romy says the record, which comes out Friday, Sept. 8, is really a "singer-songwriter album" within a dance music world: The sort of dance music that hijacks your body and "pulls your heart out."

It's a sound and feeling the guitarist and vocalist for The xx teased nearly eight years ago on "Loud Places," a single from her bandmate Jamie xx's own solo record, In Colour. Romy all but confirmed a dance record was on the way when she dropped the euphoric solo track "Lifetime" in 2020.

Three years later, Romy has struck an emotional chord on Mid Air. In this session, she talks about exploring queer joy, love and grief; sampling the one-of-a-kind voice of Beverly Glenn-Copeland; and about her fruitful creative partnership with British producer Fred again...

Plus, Romy performs songs from Mid Air live for World Cafe, including a performance of the brand new track "Weightless."

Copyright 2023 XPN

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Miguel Perez
Miguel Perez is a radio producer for NPR's World Cafe, based out of WXPN in Philadelphia. Before that, he covered arts, music and culture for KERA in Dallas. He reported on everything from the rise of NFTs in the music industry to the enduring significance of gay and lesbian bars to the LGBTQ community in North Texas.