Romy Madley Croft doesn't leave proper fingerprints, and what whorls and ridges the 23-year-old has on the tips of her fingers are so fine they can't be detected by the special machines at US border control. It means that having landed at Los Angeles airport with Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith – this trio of Londoners forming a remarkable British band, the xx – Croft is pulled aside for a long and joyless conference with immigration officials. The three musicians, all 23, are groggy after a flight in from Sydney, but only Sim and Smith get to drive away to their hotel.
Faint fingerprints. It's a weirdly appropriate impediment for Croft, guitarist and singer in a band such as this. The xx make electronic-edged music that's ghostly, low key, as spare and enigmatic as their curious name. The trio are notoriously reticent, hoping in their promotional commitments to make minimal personal impression; and in the three years between releasing a fine first album and putting out, this month, a second, they've done so impeccably.