Extremely sad and breathtakingly sparse, the xx are certainly the best band to spend a good solid week crying to.
Formed with the production savvy of electronic wizkid Jamie xx alongside Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, the band's first record was their sound at the purest. It took post-punk and made it a soft sigh, a closed circle, merging with barely audible dream pop into a brief, lilting little masterpiece.
Since then they've been a little more open to the world, still obsessed with wide spaces but happy to share them a little. Coexist was still a record indebted to the silences and dynamics of their early sound, but let some of Jamie xx's newer inclinations in; by I See You, they'd announced their quiet, halting sound as one that could feasibly be danced to, offering a sound bolder and more communicative than before. It was a relief, in a way, hearing them come out of their lane into a new one, offering a sound more esoteric than ever.
They've got the power of good, directorial vocalists and a band member who knows his way around a pristine production job, and wherever they go from here they'll likely be good for a BBC soundtrack or two.