The xx look back on Baria Qureshi leaving the band

"She's our childhood friend and we have a lot of love for her"

The xx have spoken about the departure of their former bandmate Baria Qureshi, as they mark 10 years of their debut album.

The band were speaking to Matt Wilkinson for Beats 1 as they looked back on a decade of their seminal and Mercury-winning self-titled 2009 album. By the end of that year, the founding keyboardist and guitarist Qureshi had left the band – citing “personal differences” due to “the intensity of being on tour”.

Now, bassist Oliver Sim now described her exit as “such a strange thing to deal with”.

“Because we suddenly had all of these shows and we had to find out how to do it as three,” said Sim.  “It’d been a four. It’d been four friends. And now it was just going to be the three of us.”

Band Romy Croft continued: “Yeah, it was right before the gig at Village Underground. And so Jamie, we learned he was ambidextrous in the sense that you managed to just do it all. And I’m so grateful and in awe of that because otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to play the show. Jamie was able to play the MPC and the keyboard.

Jamie: “I sort of half-managed.”

“She’s our childhood friend and we have a lot of love for her. I feel like she needs to be really acknowledged because she’s a massive part of it.”

Asked if they’d kept in touch since then, Croft replied: “It kind of feels a bit in a way the end of a romantic relationship, in a way. You kind of just have your space and then there’s soreness, but love.”

Meanwhile, the band are said to be quietly and gradually at work on their new album. Speaking about progress on the follow-up to 2017’s ‘I See You‘, Sim said this month that three band members are making new music independently “as if we’re making our own records.”

Asked to expand on what’s in store for their next album, Sim added: “We’re still very much figuring it out. I feel very curious. Though it does feel like a long time since the first record, we’re still new to it all.”

He also said that he feels a “different kind of excitement” about the future, adding: “I don’t feel like a seasoned professional yet.”