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Photograph: Tawni Bannister

Robyn, Florence Welch and Jehnny Beth on the xx’s brilliance

By
Will Gleason
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As part of this week’s cover story on the xx, which chronicles the ups and downs that led to the British pop sensation’s sunny new sound, we chatted with some big-name mutual admirers about the group. See what Robyn, Florence Welch and Savages’ Jehnny Beth have to say about the outfit, which is hitting Forest Hills Stadium in Queens for two alfresco shows next month. And if you’re thirsting for more outdoor gigs, consult our guides to SummerStage, Governors Ball and Panorama.

"We took the xx with us on their first tour. They must have still been teenagers. I was a bit worried we were going to corrupt them. There was a lot of heavy drinking—lots of tequila and bruises and Lady Gaga’s first record. But they were game, and it was so much fun. Even back then, they had a very special presence onstage, and I was always a bit jealous of their ability to use restraint and fragility as power. It’s something I’m still working on! They’ve retained their grace and kindness while growing into themselves musically. Their shyness has become a well-deserved, quiet confidence."—Florence Welch, Florence and the Machine

"I first met Romy [Madley Croft] at Coachella. She was a fan and came to speak with me after the show. We bonded over our experiences as musicians and songwriters but also life stuff. We became close really quickly. Romy is a rock girl. As a teenager, she was a fan of Peaches and Brody Dalle of the Distillers. We share a lot of favorite music, but we also have very opposite tastes sometimes. She still tries to turn me on to Mariah Carey every time I see her!"—Jehnny Beth, Savages

"I first heard the xx at a friend’s house. I remember feeling like I knew where they were coming from emotionally. Jamie [Smith] asked me to be part of their Night + Day festival this year when I saw him in Stockholm last winter, and I said yes on a gut feeling. I knew I’d love to play for their audience. I just love their music and how bold and sensitive it is at the same time."—Robyn

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