The xx revealed their version during a live performance on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge in England. The band applies their signature sparse, minimalist style to a loose interpretation of the song, with vocalists Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim trading verses over Jamie xx’s manual drum machine beats. Heavy on synthesizer melodies and Croft’s reverb-thick guitar lines, it bears little resemblance to the George Michael-penned original.
The band also offered a reworked version of “Chained,” the second single from their sophomore album, Coexist, which was released earlier this year.
The xx recently released a three-part behind-the-scenes documentary detailing the making of Coexist and the resulting world tour, which can be seen on Pitchfork TV.
As an added holiday bonus, please enjoy the original version of Wham!’s “Last Christmas” to see what the xx was working with.
-Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local