It was once the head office building's rear garage before Russell transformed it at the beginning of 2008 into a makeshift writing, rehearsal, and demo space for XL's artists.Mc Donald was assigned in September to manage and properly equip the room, which he liked because it was soundproof and "isolated from the rest of the office, so it wasn't like you were working in the record company's presence." Over the next few months, Mc Donald and Pawson prepared a budget for the label to fund the studio's preliminary setup, which would have recording equipment specifically suited for the xx, including a modestly sized soundboard ideal for recording a small group.He also created click tracks for the rest of the band to keep timing when they recorded their individual parts.After those parts had been recorded, he refined and incorporated his beats into the songs for three to four weeks.
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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.
xx is the 2009 debut album by English indie pop band the xx.
After they signed a contract with XL Recordings, the band recorded the album from December 2008 to February 2009 at the label's in-house studio in London.
After posting the demos on their Myspace page, the xx drew the interest of Young Turks, an imprint label of XL Recordings.