Emo experimentalists Xiu Xiu to pack punch at Big Ears

Xiu Xiu are true experimentalists. The band’s lead member (and only member to consistently play with the band), Jamie Stewart, explores different methods of approaching music with every album. Stewart has remained one of the most unique voices in music since his album A Promise was released in 2003. Seemingly every album in their lengthy discography approaches new ground musically and emotionally.

Xiu Xiu traverses through themes of suicide, addiction, sex-trafficking, violence and other topics not for the faint of heart. The stunning genuineness of Stewart reaches out to listeners in an honest, refreshing way.

Last year, the band released Plays The Music of Twin Peaks, a tribute to the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack originally composed by David Lynch.

Xiu Xiu are no strangers to covers. They’ve released their own takes on songs by musicians like Queen, Rihanna, Joy Division, and even a tribute album to soul singer Nina Simone. Xiu Xiu have proved themselves to have the ability to recreate a piece of work very creatively. Hearing the music of Twin Peaks filtered through the unsettling and eerie sounds of Xiu Xiu strips away the top layer of beauty and reveals the twisted and creepy gorgeousness underneath.

The band’s latest release FORGET could be considered one of their most accessible releases to new listeners. FORGET is mostly synth-pop, but those who expect to dance innocently should be warned: they don’t know Jamie Stewart. His pop is some of the most neurotic and anguished there is, and his synth caresses always come with a noise and industrial slap, and those romantic pieces will be shaken with many nightmarish jerks. Those who can appreciate the uncomfortable can find a beauty and tragedy to the album.

Xiu Xiu will be performing at Big Ears Festival on March 25th at the Bijou Theatre playing the music of Twin Peaks and March 26th at The Mill & Mine playing albums from their discography including FORGET.

For more information about Big Ears, including a detailed schedule, please visit http://bigearsfestival.com/.

FORGET can be heard on 90.3 The Rock. For experimental and indie music, including artists performing at Big Ears, listen to the The Indie Aisle (co-hosted by me) Mondays 8 pm – 10 pm on Tune In or mp3 stream.