San Jose’s Xiu Xiu will be releasing an album of Nina Simone covers on December 3 via Graveface. Jamie Stewart had the idea for the reorienting Simone’s classics into a haunting, breathy collection in Austin last year, after opening for Swans. The previous night he and Swans’ Michael Gira had spent some time discussing Simone’s work, and following his opening set (and feeling down about it, as he felt like he did not play well), he decided to challenge himself with what would become Nina.
Nina was recorded in only one day, with all cuts from the first or second takes so as to capture the “immediacy of the feelings” he associated with the tracks.
You can pre-order Nina here, and stream the gruff and fragmented “Don’t Smoke in Bed” below.