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The xx (UK)

Could the second album of The xx, out later this year, be the most eagerly awaited release of the year? Well, easily. The self-titled debut album of the London-based band, which was released in 2005, was truly a jackpot in every sense of the word – it ran away with the Mercury Music Prize, was selected the Album of the Year by God knows how many critics, and was loved to bits by blogs, magazines and other gatekeepers of taste in music. And most importantly, music fans all over the world wetted their pants listening to the album. For a good reason, too: The xx's minimalistic songs come to you stealthily, start working their magic and cause an ecstasy that feels like the fall from grace, every time.

The xx, playing their only show in Finland this summer at Ilosaarirock Festival, hold the keys to a big time success in their hand. If their second album succeeds in maintaining the magical mood of the first one, the final breakthrough is unavoidable. Whatever happens, The xx's gig is certainly one of the most anticipated events of the summer. As songs like Crystalised and Islands play out loud in the tender July night at the Laulurinne festival ground, the atmosphere is going to be nothing less than otherworldly.

The xx