The xx

The xx are a London quartet, featuring the dual lead vocals of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim (who also play lead and bass guitar respectively), Baria Quereshi (keyboards and guitar) and Jamie Smith (beats, MPC sampler).

All 19 years old, The xx are childhood friends who formed while attending the Elliot School – the south west London comp whose alumni also includes such acclaimed boundary-pushers as Burial, Four Tet and Hot Chip.

Bonding over a shared love of stripped back anti-folk and mid-90s R&B, The xx’s unique sound befits a wide range of influences that include everything from Aaliyaah to Cocorosie, Rhianna to The Cure, Missy Elliot to the Chromatics, The Kills to Ginuwine, The Pixies to Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake to Tracey & The Plastics.

These influences combine via beautiful, hushed vocal duets and a brilliantly inventive use of samplers and low-end frequencies to produce stark, sweet melancholic pop.

The xx also played at...