Xiu Xiu is the conduit for the uncompromising and unnervingly personal musical works of Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Jamie Stewart, plus a roll call of collaborators both in studio and onstage.. Streaming forth a ceaseless gush of releases, side projects, art offerings and extensive international touring since 2002, Xiu Xiu’s music has veered from damaged avant-pop to artfully orchestrated rock, squalls of black-hearted noise and most bases around and between, ever served with a bruising honesty and intensity that has ripped out the hearts of a legion of obsessive listeners.
The new Xiu Xiu album is called FORGET, and follows a period of epic productivity that has seen them produce and tour the pitch-perfect Plays the Music of Twin Peaks project, collaborate with Mitski on a song for an upcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, compose music for art installations by Danh Vo, recorded an album with Merzbow and score an experimental reworking of the Mozart opera The Magic Flute.
All of this frantic, external activity lead to a softly damaged dreaminess and broadened intent that has not been heard before in other Xiu Xiu works. The album was produced by John Congleton (Blondie, Sigur Ros), Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu’s own Angela Seo. It features guest appearances by fabled minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, L.A. Banjee Ball superstar commentator Enyce Smith, Swans guitar virtuoso Kristof Hahn and legendary drag artist and personal hero of Xiu Xiu, Vaginal Davis.
Standout track, “Wondering” is one of the catchiest boogie pop gems in the Xiu Xiu
catalog, but like much of FORGET, it still bears an underlying tension that manifests differently in each piece. From the haunted guitar duet of “Petite”, the hilariously fraught lyrics of “Get Up,” the advanced industrial boxing match of “Jenny GoGo,” or the experimental goth explosion of “Faith, Torn Apart”, all the songs, in their own ways, build to a roiling boil of a fate in vanishing.
The touring incarnation of Xiu Xiu for FORGET finds Jamie joined by ongoing percussion accomplice Shayna Dunkelman.
The album will be released in Europe in February via a series of local partners per territory, with labels involved including Upset The Rhythm (UK), Altin Village (GAS + Benelux), Teenage Menopause (France) and La Tempesta (Italy).