It’s been a whirlwind adventure for The xx. Formed of Romy Madley Croft (vocals, guitar), Oliver Sim (vocals, bass) and Jamie Smith (beats, mixing, MPC, producer) and previously, Baria Qureshi on guitar and keyboards, the downtempo electronic trio shot to fame with the debut eponymous album in 2009, and haven’t looked back since.
School friends Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith started the band when they were 15, and released the album The xx in 2009. The band received critical acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone magazine and the NME, as well as gaining substantial recognition on MTV.
The band’s first single "Crystalised" was featured as the iTunes tunes of the week, and further notoriety was gained when The xx’ music was used in a number of popular TV programs such as Cold Case, Suits, Mercy and the Greek version of Next Top Model amongst others. The singles "Islands" and "VCR" became instantly recognisable as the band’s ‘trademark sound’ with their unique, catchy, soft electronic melodies.
In 2009, The xx decided that the band no longer needed a fourth band member and Baria Qureshi was asked to leave.This was preceded with a North America tour where the trio built up their profile in the US, and the band performed at music festivals Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.
Further success came in the form of winning the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2010 and the accolade escalated their album sales dramatically. The xx were further nominated for three BRIT Awards but did not win any more in the end.
The xx followed up their first album with their second offering Coexist (September 2012). The first single “Angels” was released in July 2012 and the band described how they had “grown up” with second album and Coexist dealt with the themes of hurt, loneliness and intimacy.