It's been three years since The xx began troubling websites with their lower case band name but, as we all strained to hear and then enjoy the minimalist lo-fi sounds of Jamie, Oliver and Romy, we ignored the bothersome moniker and instead reached for words like 'minimalist' and 'lo-fi'.
Sleepy and atmospheric, The xx's gentle indie refrains were an antidote to the string-bashing Buzzcocks impersonations fighting it out to be the next Pete'n'Carl. We all solemnly swooned and urged everyone else at the gig to shut up so we could hear all the quiet bits in-between. And this is the band's rare quality. As a great read is about the spaces between the words in which the mind conjures the true story, some great music can be about the downtime around the noise. The xx are all about soft understatement and building expectation. The quieter, more subtle it is the more we want. To be so gentle takes great boldness.
But it paid off for The xx who duly collected the 2010 Mercury Music Prize for their self-titled debut. A fact that will be in the minds of many as the follow-up, Coexist, is released in early September. Early indications are that Jamie and co will pick up exactly where they left off (check out lead single Angels, above).
There's no better way to find out than by attending one of three very special shows which will accompany the new record. There's a Shepherds Bush Empire gig on the day of the album's release (10th September), followed by dates in Cardiff and Edinburgh. We will have tickets available from 9am on Friday 27th July, priced around £22. Now please be quiet.