The XX win UK Mercury music prize for debut album

Wed Sep 8, 2010 4:18am EDT
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By Venetia Rainey

LONDON (Reuters) - Electronic band the xx have been named the winners of Britain's 2010 Mercury Prize for their debut album, "The xx."

The band, which consists of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith, recorded their album in a small garage part of record label XL's studios.

Their critically acclaimed album, a sleepy but intoxicating mix of electronic beats and understated vocals, was ranked number two on NME magazine's Best of the Year list, and reached number 10 in the UK charts.

"We've had the most incredible year," xx frontman Sim said. "It feels like every day we wake up to something incredible. It hasn't sunken in to be honest."

They beat 11 other nominees including rapper Dizzee Rascal with his platinum album, "Tongue N'Cheek," veteran musician Paul Weller's 10th solo album, "Wake up the Nation," and Corrine Bailey Rae's "The Sea."

The award, which honors the best album released in the past 12 months, comes with a 20,000 pound ($30,740) prize and is likely to boost the band's record sales.

One of the judges, Simon Frith, who has chaired the Mercury Prize panel since it began in 1992, said the winning album captures something of the slightly anxious mood of the country.

"They have that urban soundscape where they are not exactly secure," Frith said. "That late night feeling where you like the city, and it's exhilarating, but you don't know what's going to happen."   Continued...

<p>British band The Xx pose for photographers with their award at the Mercury Prize awards in London September 7, 2010 REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>