When south London three-piece band The XX burst onto the UK music scene with its 2009 single Crystalised, it was already evident that the band’s sleek, dystopian vision of modern soul greatly belied their still tender age (all four members were in their teens at the time). Originally formed as a quartet in 2005 (keyboard player Baria Qureshi left the group in late 2009), the band consists of Romy Madley Croft (vocals and guitar), Oliver Sim (vocals and bass), and Jamie Smith (programming). Cobbling together influences as far a field as contemporary and classic R&B (Aaliyah, Bobby Womack), atmospheric post-punk (Young Marble Giants, The Cure), and UK dance music (dubstep, trip-hop), the group's self-titled album is a confident and self-assured debut. Building upon the alluring vocal partnership of co-leads Sim and Croft, whose wounded call and response vocals sound mature beyond their years, the group manage to craft haunting synthesizer-fuelled melancholia that exudes disillusionment, coy sexuality, and sometimes, even innocence, all at once. Garnering near universal acclaim with the music media, the album tipped the band as one of the up-and-coming acts of the new decade and secured appearances at festivals including Coachella, Lollapoolza and Bonnaroo.
Influenced By: Young Marble Giants, Aaliyah, The Cure, CocoRosie, Pixies, Chromatics, Beach House, Timbaland, Durutti Column, Tracy + The Plastics...