The xx

The xx

The xx's debut, xx, in 2009, defied a lot of genre stereotypes. Its slow pacing, strains of electronica and the distinctly feminine vocals of Romy Madley Croft earned comparisons to the Stone Roses and Portishead. Thanks to its completeness, the album was largely recognized as the best debut album of 2009, rather impressive given the band's youth. All the group's members were roughly 20 years old at the time the debut was released, and they had actually formed the band in London four years prior.


Keyboardist Baria Qureshi left the group in late 2009, due to a mixture of exhaustion following the band's rush of success and personal tensions with the other band members. The band also included Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith (who also sings).

Multiple dates at summer festivals in the U.S. followed in 2010. Nearly every song on the album received airplay in a variety of media, most notably in an AT&T ad featuring speed skater Apollo Anton Ohno during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Plans for a follow-up have yet to be announced, but the band was chosen by Simpsons creator Matt Groening to play All Tomorrow's Parties in May 2010 in Minehead, England. ~Ethan Stanislawski

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