aiden-grimshaw

The Emancipation of Aiden has truly begun.

Aiden Grimshaw, in case you weren’t already familiar, quickly shot to the final rounds of the incredible 7th season of X Factor UK, a year that bore superstars like Cher Lloyd, Rebecca Ferguson and an obscure boy band called One Direction. It was an unusually talented bunch — and Aiden is certainly no exception.

Last year, the brooding crooner dropped his sorely underrated debut, Misty Eye, which spawned tracks like “Is This Love?” and “Curtain Call.”

Since then, he’s holed up in the studio to work on new material with French producer Dimitri Tikovoi, best known for his work with several of our very favorite pop acts, including Charli XCX, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Nicola Roberts.

We first heard a taste of Aiden’s new sound back in August with “The Way We Are,” a lush, utterly perfect slice of moody synth-pop that remains on heavy rotation to this day.

Today, we’ve got a new piece of the EP — and a new persona.

Now simply known as Aiden (makes sense, no?) and sporting a severely fierce new look (I’m getting a modern homage to George Michael‘s Faith), the UK singer-songwriter’s just dropped “Satisfy Me,” his latest track from the EP, out on November 26 — the Aiden EP. (See what he did there?)

The track is much darker and even more complex than “The Way We Are,” grinding up against the speakers across industrial noise and a solid, damning strut — and a slightly ’80’s-inflected sound. “When you smile, it’s a head trip / You’re a toxic lover,” he bitterly declares across the chorus. That rap section is a surprise at first — but don’t worry, it’s not Aiden having an identity crisis. It’s actually Thaddaeus Tribbett. The sound suits Aiden’s image perfectly — it’s almost like Violator-era Depeche Mode mixed with the stylized gloom-pop of Hurts.

Aiden’s voice also sounds phenomenal amidst the anguish, especially in the song’s abrupt final moments: “This time, I know that we’re over, ’cause you reminded me from the start,” he declares with a swift punch of an ending.

Change is good: This EP will certainly be a highlight of 2013.