Xiu Xiu - Knife Play
5 Rue Christine
Xiu Xiu is the answer for all of those lost souls who went to bed with The Strokes or The Hives and regret what they woke up with. The Olympia, Washington ensemble produces haunting journeys that drift between discordant longing and quiet introspection. Singer Jamie Stewart’s plaintive moaning serves as the frosting on a very bitter, but nevertheless delicious cake. Xiu Xiu’s songs on their debut project, Knife Play dissect the darker side of the human psyche, recounting car crashes, spoiled birthdays, and failed relationships. Each of the albums tracks are a complex juxtaposition of Stewart’s vocals and the diverse instrumentation put forth by the rest of the band, which includes a harmonium, guitars, synths, tape-loops and even a gong. The thrashing, disjunctive percussion and silky rhythms intertwine, shaking you by the shoulders as they caress your cheek. Knife Play is an album that would make the Goth you dated in high school faint with pleasure and make the Rock Star you’re seeing now, cringe with jealousy.