The xx has won this year's Mercury prize. Eyewear has long appreciated this band - well, since they came out a little over a year ago. The xx are the most sonically original British band in a decade, and perhaps the most melodically spare and intriguing - by marrying post-punk guitars to an urban spoken delivery (that also echoes Lou Reed) they manage to represent the traditions of The Beatles, The Smiths, Nirvana, but also the current dark landscape. Their debut album is awfully beautiful, very haunting, and keeps a curious distance - emotive but cool, like Portishead was. This is an example of timeless artistry, that, whatever they do next, cannot stale.