Controversial art-rockers Xiu Xiu — led by their distinctive lyricist and singer Jamie Stewart — will return to Bottom of the Hill on May 31 to support their new album, Always. With Xiu Xiu, intensity is never in short supply and the band embrace a strain of dissonant noise pop that marries harsh stabs of noise and feedback with Stewart’s ear for breathy melody (not to mention lyrics that focus on disorders, sexual abuse, and depression).
Listening to Xiu Xiu is a challenge worth undertaking. We’re forced to acknowledge the pain that brings out Stewart’s creativity while enjoying some of the most creative, strange, and downright catchy songs ever written about any number of taboo subjects: “I Luv Abortion” from Always is a power-synth rant on abortion (“When I look at my thighs / I see death”) while “Chocolate Makes You Happy” (off Dear God, I Hate Myself) is an uptempo, 8-bit synth ode to those suffering from bulimia.
But Stewart isn’t one to turn his live shows into a exclusive club for the abused. With catharsis built into every tantalizing chorus and major-key video game synth, Xiu Xiu live is a noisy coming out party for those secrets that we usually don’t acknowledge, let alone sing about.
Here’s the video for Xiu Xiu‘s newest single, “Hi”:
Xiu Xiu, Yamantaka / / Sonic Titan, Father Murphy
Bottom of the Hill
May 31st, 2012
9pm, $12/advance, $14/door