Album: The XX, XX (Young Turks/XL)

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The Independent Culture

TheXX, a quartet whoformed at a south-west London comprehensive (a fact in itself that, sadly,marks them out asexceptional nowadays),are being widely praised for their atmospheric indierock, and rightly so.

RomyMadley Croft's breathyvoice and subtle guitar giveher band the feel of theSecret Machines fronted byJane Birkin, with theoccasional flicker of RyCooder twang. It's claustrophobic,aural wallpaper ofa stylish kind, such as youmight find in one of thosebars where the staff handyou your change ona black plastic dish.