Test Me

Album: I See You (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the dynamics between The xx's Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim. For a time, Oliver struggled with alcoholism and the pair would exchange harsh words about his behavior. This song, where Romy addresses her feelings at how Oliver is trying her patience, is so brutal it could only have been written from a strong friendship.
  • Madley Croft wrote all the lyrics and turned her back to Sim when she first played it to him. Sim recalled the moment to Pitchfork. "It was hard, but we had a hug. It was good for me to hear."
  • Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim have been friends since they played in the same preschool sandpit as toddlers. This song touches on the challenges of close friendships. She explained to NPR:

    "['Test Me'] is about a sort of hard time in our friendship, between Oliver and I - and a time when all three of us were quite distant from each other emotionally and geographically.

    It sort of represents a new time of us actually talking about things rather than just pushing them down, and I think that was a good thing. Sometimes we would say things to each other in the music before we could say it to each other."
  • This is the closing track of the standard edition of The xx's I See You album. Speaking to Zane Lowe about naming the record, Madley Croft explained:

    "We couldn't pin point exactly at the time when we were trying to name the album, when we were trying to wrap it up, what the overriding theme was, but I just thought about our friendship and our relationship. We definitely didn't see each other for quite a while, and that was quite hard on all of us. It made me really miss, I felt like something was missing.

    In the place where we named the album and we came up with the visual theme for it, Jamie (Smith, keys) had rented a car, it was a summer in London, we were driving around listening to Frank Ocean's album sitting there and saying, shall we do it, shall we just call it 'I See You', yeah cool let's just do it.

    This was hours and weeks of me waking up in the middle of the night thinking is this right, is it not, talking sitting in a park thinking is this right, any moment, going round and round. It felt like we were all back together having a really nice time, and it felt like the right thing."

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