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The XX: December 2009's Artist to Watch

The XX, comprised of four young 20-year-olds from South London, has recently stormed the indie-pop scene with their dark, 80's new wave style. After meeting in London's Elliot School, which claims alumni such as Four Tet, Burial and Hot Chip, the band began toying around with what would become their critically acclaimed debut album.

Upon listening to their music, it's evident that their style stems from an array of mainstream pop influeces (including Rihanna, Aaliyah and The Cure). They are not afraid to show their love and appreciation for commmercial pop, but they offer quite a different perspective of these styles in their own music. Their sparse arrangements are lined with chilling synths, pulsing rhythms, 80's style guitar lines and R&B influenced bass patterns. Without a live drummer, they maintain an airy atmospheric sound by gracefully framing sparce negative space to their advantage. The hushed lyrical conversations that take place between the boy/girl fronted band add yet another layer to their intimately minimal approach to songwriting.

Quite unlike their overly-polished influences, the band uses gritty low-end frequencies to place them at #6 in NME's The Future 50 list for 2009. Working with top artists such as Diplo and touring extensively throughout North America and Europe, The XX had an official release of their debut album in North America on October 20.

Recent Release: XX
Release Date: August 18, 2009 (UK)
Label: XL Recordings
Origin: UK