The debut from the final member of The XX to go solo, ‘Hideous Bastard’ is a diaristic exploration of self identity from Oliver Sim. Less immediate than the solo releases by his bandmates, Sim instead is more affecting as on opener ‘Hideous’ where he boldly opens up on his positive HIV status and the emotional impact it has had on his self image. Featuring Jamie XX on production duties, the carefully crafted beats flow, no doubt thanks to Sim’s ear for rhythm as a bassist, without drifting into atmospherics. Most familiar to fans of The XX is the midpoint ballad ‘Saccharine’ while ‘GMT’ with its heartbeat percussion and half-spoken interludes hints at some of the deeper cuts from NPG-era Prince. The highlight is opener ‘Hideous’ where the emotional weight of the lyrics is supported by stirring instrumentation and a moving star turn by Jimmy Somerville.