The XX say they wanted their somnambulant, sensual new “Fiction” video to feel “like a dream; where reality stops and begins.” And that’s fitting, considering singer and bassist Oliver Sim — who stars in the clip (and wrote the song’s lyrics) — was pretty much asleep the entire time they shot it.
“It was a 16-hour shoot, from like late afternoon through the night, so I was pretty delirious by the end, didn’t know where I was or what I was doing, just wandering, dancing around the desert,” he told MTV News. “I actually don’t remember a ton of it, towards the end, to be honest. So it was definitely dreamlike, in a sense. I woke up the day after and was just like ‘Did that actually happen?’ ”
So Sim sleepwalked his way through the “Fiction” video shoot, much to the delight of his XX mates Jamie Smith and Romy Madley Croft, who both decided very early on that he would be the reluctant star of their latest clip.
“We love to be really involved in our videos, and the idea came out of a conversation,” Madley Croft explained. “I really wanted it to be all about Oliver, really, as it should be; that’s his song on the album, ‘Angels’ is my song, so it should be about him … The idea of him performing a bit more was a big focus.”
And though “Fiction” is the brand-new single off their Coexist album, the XX are already thinking ahead to their next album, which they hope to begin working on after wrapping up their tour in November. And that, in and of itself, makes it different that their current record, which came after a break (and a near breakdown).
“The time we took off last time was just to do a bit of growing up. We also lived at home, and we kind of wanted to have a bit of a life for a while, and we’ve done that now; so, who knows if we need to take as much time,” Madley Croft said. “We’re really excited to be making music again, we’re trying on tour, but it’s hard; you’re always surrounded by people and noise, and, that’s quite a hard environment. Jamie’s lucky, he can put his headphones on and go on the computer and he makes all his Jamie XX stuff, and we watch as fans, but we can’t work like that. So, we’ll see where it goes.”