No matter who’s asking, the best experimental music is made by those who hope to create a world that you’re not comfortable with experiencing. In many ways, that’s been what Xiu Xiu has been about since their inception. On their eleventh full length release Girl with Basket of Fruit, they take all that you think you know about darkness and despair, and craft it into a masterpiece of noise filled mysticism.
The opener, “Girl with Basket of Fruit” examines the darkest moments of the band, creating a world that lives up to the ethos they’ve built over the years. While there are touches of pop found here, it also has moments of polarity that don’t bludgeon the senses. While this theme plays out over the course of the nine tracks within, the band utilizes sound and the absence of it with great ease, adding stabs of abrasion and weight. Did the world collapse? Are you losing your mind? No, you just belong to this world now, where your presence is met with multiple characters to engage with.
The rhythmic nuances that dance throughout the release create enough interest in what comes next that your ears will delight in what you’re given. Tracks like “Ice Cream Truck” and “The Wrong Thing” utilize this best, mixed with vocals that sound like confessions of sinners, or messages left for the deceased on an answering machine. When the dissonance clears, when the mixture of bleak experimentation isn’t the focus, pop structured techno sounds emit from tracks like “Pumpkin Attack On Mommy & Daddy,” and “Mary Turner Mary Turner.” It’s all foreign to anyone unfamiliar with the band, and familiar to anyone who’s lauded what Xiu Xiu creates. The touches of pop, the experimental use of chord structure and soundscapes as well as the most abrasive sides of the human spirit, make the album a must hear for anyone who wants to find what’s on the other side.
You can stream Girl with Basket of Fruit when its released tomorrow on all streaming sites. You can preorder the album digitally from all digital store fronts, as well as preordering physical copies directly from Polyvinyl Records. Xiu Xiu will be on tour starting tomorrow in Pittsburgh at The Warhol Theater at the Andy Warhol Museum until the tour ends May 30 in Highland Park, CA at Lodge Room. A complete listing of their tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Shomei Tomatsu.