Formed in 2005, The xx are an alternative trio hailing from London, England, featuring the dual lead vocals of Romy Madley Croft (lead guitar) and Oliver Sim (bass guitar), and backed by Jamie Smith (beats, MPC sampler). Rounding out the group was keyboardist Baria Qureshi, who left the group because of the pressures of an intensive touring schedule.
Bonding over a shared love of dark, emotive 80s guitar sounds and the high-end sheen of American R&B;, The xx’s unique sound befits a band whose wide range of influences combine beautiful, hushed vocal duets and a brilliantly inventive use of samples and low-end frequencies to produce stark, sweet, melancholic pop.
The band released its debut album, xx, on August 2009. The album garnered critical acclaim and has been generally well-received, scoring an average of 84/100 based on 20 professional reviews. The album has spawned three singles: the first two (Crystalised and Basic Space) both have music videos featuring the band, and the third single, Islands, was released in October 2009.
On November 11, 2009, it was confirmed that keyboardist Baria Qureshi left the band after missing several scheduled shows, citing exhaustion. The band stated that she will not be replaced, and that they will continue as a three-piece.