Xiu Xiu have revealed Oh No, an album of duets, out March 26th on Polyvinyl.
Ahead of the release, Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo dropped “A Bottle of Rum” featuring Liz Harris. Seo directed the clip, which features her reading in a room with Eighties decor, wearing an elegant hat, and digging through dirt.
“About a year ago I bought a cheap bajo quinto, which is a 10-string low register guitar-like instrument used in Tejano, conjunto, and norteño musics,” Stewart said in a statement. “As it is a cheap one, only certain chords sound good on it. One of them, annoyingly, is the open ‘cowboy’ voicing of D major. When we started Xiu Xiu, founding member Cory McCulloch had a lot of rules for the band. One of them was we could never use this chord. It has become a creative game in the last few years to try to break some of these rules but in a way that respects that Cory had very good reasons for imposing them in the first place. I.e. in this voicing, D major is an insipid chord.”
He continued to explain the genesis of the track: “I had been trying to write a song on this bajo quinto to no avail and then drunkenly listened to Liz’s song, ‘Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping.’ A spark shone and feebly I tried to write something that, at least at first, sounded like it. I had asked Liz Harris, who is an old friend, if she would sing on this new record of duets. Initially, I thought of her for another song but she specifically — although not knowing she had been the inspiration behind it in the first place — asked to be on this one. If the stars ever have aligned… well then.”
Other guests on Oh No include Sharon Van Etten, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, Chelsea Wolfe, Alice Bag, and others. “The guest stars of Oh No reflect the types of people, and many of the very same, who helped remind me that the ratio of beautiful humans to shitty humans is more like 60/40 rather than what I have always assumed was 1/99,” Stewart said of the record. “Although there is an ‘I HATE PEOPLE’ pin on my guitar strap, I hate them less now.”
Oh No marks Xiu Xiu’s 12th studio album, following 2019’s Girl with Basket of Fruit. You can preorder Oh No now.
Oh No Tracklist
1. Sad Mezcalita (Sharon Van Etten)
2. I Cannot Resist (Deb Demur /Drab Majesty)
3. The Grifters (Haley Fohr)
4. Goodbye For Good (Greg Saunier/Deerhoof)
5. Oh No (Susanne Sachsse)
6. Rumpus Room (Angus Andrew/Liars)
7. Fuzz Gong Fight (Angela Seo/Xiu Xiu)
8. I Dream of Someone Else Entirely (Owen Pallett)
9. One Hundred Years (Chelsea Wolfe) [The Cure cover]
10. A Classic Screw (Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo)
11. It Bothers Me All the Time (Jonathan Meiburg/Shearwater)
12. Saint Dymphna (George Lewis Jr./Twin Shadow)
13. Knock Out (Alice Bag)
14. A Bottle of Rum (Liz Harris)
15. Ants (Valerie Diaz)