The XX's new album is ''like the old stuff, only better.''

The Mercury prize winning group are set to release their second album later this year, and while they have been secretive about its sound, friends close to them say it is a natural development of their sound.

Sarah Ruba, singer of the band New Look, said: ''Romy [Madley-Croft, The xx singer] came out to one of our shows in the autumn in London. We asked her what we could expect from the new album and she said, 'It's like the old stuff, only better.'''

Giving clues to their new album's sound, The xx have posted a number of videos to songs and artists online, including Fleetwood Mac, The Cure, Cheryl Lynn and Queens Of The Stone Age.

Speaking about the band's self-titled first album, Romy - who makes up the group with childhood friends Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith - said it was a very personal record, and made in a way which couldn't be repeated.

She said: ''We do all this for ourselves. Originally when I wrote these songs I didn't think that anyone would hear them apart from Oliver and Jamie. We just really loved doing it.''