Album Review

Xiu Xiu - OH NO

It’s unlikely to win them any new followers, but existing fans won’t be disappointed.

Xiu Xiu - OH NO

Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart says he was inspired to write their 12th album, ‘OH NO’, by feelings of isolation and depression he suffered following the termination of a number of his friendships and the cancellation of the band’s tours. So it’s not surprising that a gloomy mood underpins the album. The surreal menace that permeated much of precursor ‘Girl With Basket of Fruit’ is gone, replaced by a pervasive sadness. Stewart’s vocals have rarely sounded bleaker, recalling those on latter-day Bowie and Greg Puciato’s recent solo work. He collaborated with a number of musicians on the album who he says somewhat restored his faith in humanity, meaning it is a succession of duets, all with interestingly chosen collaborators. His vocals interweave with Chelsea Wolfe’s well on ‘One Hundred Years’ and Sharon van Etten’s voice on opener ‘Sad Mezcalita’ has a very beguiling, torchsong quality to it. After all the preceding melancholy, the closing triptych of ‘Knock Out’, lead single ‘A Bottle of Rum’, and Valerie Diaz monologue ‘ANTS’ makes for a comparatively optimistic conclusion to the album. Xiu Xiu have recorded a 12th album that is an interesting listen, but rarely an easy one. It’s unlikely to win them any new followers, but existing fans won’t be disappointed.

Tags: Xiu Xiu, Reviews, Album Reviews

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