By Leah Greenblatt
Updated September 08, 2010 at 04:38 PM EDT

Image Credit: Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage.comFew industry oddmakers were surprised last night when bedroom-pop savants the xx—looking atypically bronzed and smiley, left—took top honors at the 18th annual Mercury Music Prize ceremony in London.

Still, it caps off a banner year for the barely-legal co-ed foursome (currently a trio, following the late 2009 departure of keyboardist Baria Qureshi due to “personal differences”; but does she still get a piece of the £20,000 cash prize?).

And the band’s gauzy self-titled debut—with its near-constant rotation in coffeehouses, hipster hair salons, and basement makeout rooms—certainly beats last year’s left-field winner, rapper Speech Debelle’s little-known Speech Therapy, for sheer indie ubiquity.

Their 2010 competition, while considerable, never really seemed likely to surmount the xx’s long lead. If anything, close collaborators and tourmates Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons may have split votes, and 2003 winner Dizzee Rascal had little hope of repeating his luck with a two-fer. But what of fellow nominees Biffy Cyro, Corinne Bailey Rae, Villagers, Foals, and Paul Weller?

Stream a slice of the xx’s narcotic, twilit pop below, and let us know what you think of the voting committee’s final decision:


(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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