Xiu Xiu has been around almost two decades now cranking out experimental masterpieces. Singer songwriter Jamie Stewart’s lyrics are so intimate that some songs have been a hard listen. What is not talked about enough is the actual music.
Xiu Xiu has always challenged the audience to really study and discover new things. There is nothing like it in the modern era, with pops and whistles, guitars, insane percussion, distortion and delay. After returning from a temporary hiatus to recover from mental health issues, Jamie Stewart has received overwhelming support from his fans. This inspired him to record an album of duets along with featured guests who have made an impact on him personally and musically.
“A Bottle of Rum”, with Liz Harris from Grouper fame, is so pop that it could cross over in the best way. It reminds one of old Magnetic Fields meeting any song on the radio now. Another standout s the meditative “I Cannot Resist”, featuring Deb Demure creator of Dark Wave kings Drab Majesty. It is such a beautiful quiet piece that juxtaposes the chaos of a Xiu Xiu album. For some goth and doom look towards “One Hundred Years” with the dark queen Chelsea Wolfe. It is dark and creepy as expected but with the Xiu Xiu off-kilter twist. “Saint Dymphna”, which features George Lewis Jr., also knows as Twin Shadows is straight up beautiful. Its almost jazzy, shoegaze feel really lifts up the darker mood of the record.
Overall, OH NO is Jamie Stewart finally outstretching his arms for a cuddle, albeit small and restrained. It is the best Xiu Xiu record in many years for its brave mix of using different artists, allowing them to really contribute to the aesthetic, making for a more palatable record.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: XIU XIU – OH NO