The xx have won the Mercury Prize for their debut album, xx, beating competition from acts like Paul Weller, Dizzee Rascal, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and Foals.
The South London band seemed genuinely shocked to win the prize.
“I don’t know what we were expecting but we weren’t expecting this,” said The xx frontman Oliver Sim as they collected their Mercury Award.
Frontwoman Romy Madley added: “I think disbelief is a good word. I genuinely wasn’t expecting to hear our name. I was genuinely, genuinely not. I sort of looked at both of them and was like, this isn’t happening.”
Winning the Mercury Prize means £20,000 for The xx, not to mention a massive boost in record sales.
When asked what they would spend the dosh on, Sim said: “Haven’t a clue.”
The judges said of The xx: “Hypnotic beats and hushed voices combine in a brilliant evocation of space and time.”
Head judge Simon Frith called it “a record of its time”.
“It’s a very urban record, it is part of that urban soundscape when no-one has any idea what is going to happen next,” he continued.
Who are The xx?
Romy Madley Croft, the singer and guitarist, and Oliver Sim, the bassist and vocalist, are best friends and have known each other since they were sprogs.
The xx all attended the Elliott School in London, as did previous Mercury nominees Hot Chip and Burial.
According to Croft, the band made their album in a converted garage the size of a bathroom.
The band’s debut album, xx, initially failed to even break into the top thirty although it jumped from 44 to 16 in the charts following the group’s Mercury nomination.
The xx have become a BBC soundtrack favourite, being used on everything from the BBC’s General Election coverage to sports highlights and episodes of thriller series like ’Cold Case’ and ’Law & Order’.
Other xx tracks have been featured on youth programmes like Misfits, 90210 and E20.
Watch The XX Crystalised here.