Oliver and Romy have been friends since they met at nursery school at the age of three, and know each other so well that their voices curl around each other like wisps of smoke.But it's not a romantic or eroticised sound: both Oliver and Romy are gay.'We're really singing past each other,' Romy once said.The result is a beautiful combination of intimacy and separation; closeness shadowed by distance.Atmospheric English indie pop group the xx formed in London around the talents of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim, Baria Qureshi, and Jamie Smith, when the bandmembers were still in high school.Captivating and cool, the group cites influences that run the gamut from R&B (Aaliyah and Rihanna) to classic alternative rock (the Cure and the Pixies). Late that year, Qureshi was no longer part of the group; the rest of the xx released a statement via NME saying this was due to "personal differences." During 2010, the live dates continued, including spots at several high-profile summer festivals, and in September, their album won Britain's coveted Mercury Prize.After posting demos on their Myspace page, they drew the attention of the Beggars Group-owned label Young Turks.Working with producer Rodaidh Mc Donald, the band released their debut album, xx, in August 2009.
But the band (which also includes percussionist Jamie Smith and frontman Oliver Sim) were quite shy about discussing much outside of their musicianship — until Romy did a joint interview with her girlfriend, Rachel, for a UK magazine in 2010.“I outed myself to the whole world on my friend’s tiny little blog,” she told the . I’m proud of having a girlfriend; it just doesn’t have anything to do with my music.”Two years later, the xx released their highly-anticipated sophomore effort, And when she was asked about her sexuality, Romy explained “It’s not something I really talk about. But if I was singing about a guy, I would probably be singing a similar kind of love song, really.Guitarist Baria Qureshi joined once it began performing in 2005, with Jamie Smith, also known as Jamie xx, joining a year after.Let’s be real here: I knew Romy Madley Croft played for our team when I first saw her.Jamie xx's solo debut In Colour, which featured contributions from Sim and Croft, arrived in 2015.Late in 2016, the single "On Hold" introduced the more energetic, eclectic direction of I See You, which was released in January 2017.