Pronounced, the ‘ex-ex’, The xx draw upon the likes of R&B and hip-hop, fused with sparse ‘80s pop to create a sound that saw the band win a Mercury Music Prize with their first album, xx. Featuring ghostly guitars, electro-beats, ambient backing and a distinctly bass-heavy underscore, The xx create music evocative of late nights in the big city, where the day-to-day is winding down and the nightlife winks into action.
Crystallised, taken from their debut album, is a taut, spectral mash of stark guitars, hushed harmonies and haunting sonics. 2011’s Angels is similarly understated, with staccato trip-hop beats adding tension to a smoky song.
Fast-forward to 2016 and the third album, I See You, sees the band embrace loops and pop sensibilities. However, the intimate sound that first launched The xx to fame is still intact, particularly in songs such as On Hold and Replica.