Where: London, U.K.
Something like a revamped incarnation of vintage U.K. group Young Marble Giants, The xx applies drum machines and subtle electronic flourishes to their minimal post-punk ballads. While post-punk has long been a crowded field, what distinguishes this quartet is its soulful boy/girl vocals, delivered in a near-constant duet and heavily indebted to modern R&B—a notion solidified by the band's stellar covers of pop divas Aaliyah and Kyla. The xx's self-titled debut album comes out in October on Young Turks/XL.
Listen: "Basic Space"
Listen: "Basic Space (Sampha Remix)"
Watch: "Basic Space"