Romy: KCRW Guest DJ set

Anthony Valadez and Romy Madley Croft channel their inner music librarians. Photo by Arielle Torrez

UK Singer-songwriter Romy has an achingly empathetic voice — yearning, and lived-in. As the lead guitarist and vocalist for Mercury Prize winning indie dance trio The XX, her signature dark and twisty tones have a way of burrowing into their listeners’ subconscious while simultaneously beckoning them to the dance floor.

Her debut LP Mid Air dropped in early September, and while it still packs an emotional punch the overall mood it delivers is one of exuberance. Celebration abounds over vibrant house beats. Celebration of queerness, losing yourself to dance, and “Enjoy[ing] Your Life.” The last point in particular is one that Romy has given careful consideration.

“I think that the message, enjoy your life, could maybe be interpreted as like, ‘thumbs up, enjoy life, it's all good…’ which it is,” Romy tells us during her Guest DJ set. “But it's also [revealing this] appreciation that life is short and my intention to try and make the best of it, whilst acknowledging that sometimes that's not always easy.”

Read on for her Guest DJ selects which offer a candid portrait of the artist. And click into the player above where you’ll not only hear Romy’s fantastic selects and insights, you’ll also hear the incredible news that The XX are currently in the studio working on the next album!   

Mark your calendar for that, and in the meantime catch Romy in the mix tonight for A Club Called Rhonda at Los Globos in Silver Lake.

Madonna – “The Power of Good-Bye”

So this is a song that makes me think about my wife. And when I see it written down,  “The Power of Good-Bye” sounds like a bit of a sad song to think about my wife. But she's a huge Madonna fan and so am I. We recently went to see Madonna play in Paris. And we were incredibly, unexpectedly close. I would say spitting distance, actually literally because Madonna drank a beer and spat it all over us. We're like, “what's happening?!?!”

Since then we've been listening to a lot of Madonna together and we were in the car singing along to “The Power of Good-Bye,” and she was like, “please cover this for me.” So that's on my to do list.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland – “La Vita” 

This song, “La Vita” by Beverly Glenn-Copeland is really an otherworldly track. I think that you go on a journey between these operatic sounding voices into Glenn singing [these] deep and reflective lyrics that are very moving to me. This is a song that inspired one of my songs on the album [“Enjoy Your Life”]. And the lyric of Glen's is, “My mother says to me, enjoy your life.” When I heard those lyrics I was so blown away and I couldn't stop thinking about them. And I'm so grateful that Glen was okay for me to sing those lyrics and to sample his voice in the song.

Will Van Horn – “Plug Me In”

This is a pedal steel guitar track that I play a lot at home. I love playing the guitar and I've chosen to sort of put it down for this project. I wanted to miss it. But [now] I'm curious [about] interesting ways I can use the guitar again. I love these melodic kinds of sounds you can create that are quite bendy. This is a song that does that.

Robyn – “Dancing On My Own”

I started going out in London quite young. I'm grateful for that because it gave me a lot of amazing experiences and a community, especially in a particular queer club that I used to go to. I got the opportunity to DJ there. I didn't know how they said, “it's fine, you just burn some CDs and you fade it in and out.” At that time, I definitely didn't know how to mix so I had to rely on songs that the moment you press play, everyone knows what it is. I couldn't think of a better song than this [to serve that purpose]. The moment that baseline comes in… I've seen it in rooms, everyone just loses their cool.





Anna Chang