Wed 25 Jan 2012
At first a jarring, disjointed combination of jilted synths, aggressive beats and Jamie Stewart’s always-staggering vocals, eventually you’ll find yourself getting lost in ‘Hi’, the first song from Xiu Xiu’s upcoming album Always. Its video, directed by Jamie and David Horvitz, follows Jamie on a roadtrip through upstate New York, with footage of disparate events such as him biting apples still hanging on trees, scrawling lyrics in public bathrooms, shoving copies of Dick Cheney’s autobiography into a rubbish bin or setting his hand on fire. Interspersed with photos from the band’s recent tour and shots of photos in books, it has a disarming and surreal feel but is also at times quite humorous. It is essentially in the nature of everything Xiu Xiu produces: anatagonistic, confronting and dreamlike.
While fans wait for the band’s impending world tour and album, they can head over to their website and check out Jamie’s blog. Just the other day he wrote about sex chat rooms, and how screenshots of their various empty locations are potentially “the greatest performance art space in human history”. He continues, “It is touching and honest and terrifying and stimulating and enlightening and filled with a dear and challenging sorrow and humor.” Much like Xiu Xiu itself.
Always will be released on March 6, and continues the band’s long tradition of working with Deerhoof‘s Greg Saunier, who produced the album and contributed drums and vocals. John Congleton, who has also worked with Antony and the Johnsons, Marilyn Manson and The Roots, mixed it. If ‘Hi’ is anything to go by, Always will be considerably accessible work for the band, encouraging listeners to respond with its inviting lyrics.