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xx is the debut album by English indie pop band the xx. It was released on 14 August 2009 by Young Turks, an imprint label of XL Recordings. After signing a record contract with XL, the xx recorded the album from December 2008 to February 2009 at the label's in-house studio in London. Audio engineer Rodaidh McDonald worked with the band during the recording sessions and attempted to reproduce the intimate, unembellished quality of their demos. The band's Jamie Smith produced xx on his laptop and created electronic beats for the songs, which he then mixed in a detailed process with McDonald. Although the xx had been strongly influenced by R&B acts, the album also drew comparisons from critics to alternative rock, electronica, and post-punk sounds. The melancholic songs on xx featured minimalist arrangements and were built around Smith's beats, Oliver Sim's basslines, and sparse guitar figures played by Baria Qureshi and Romy Madley Croft, who employed reverb in her lead guitar parts. Most of them were sung as low-key duets by Croft and Sim, both of whom wrote emotional lyrics about love, intimacy, loss, and desire.