Out via Polyvinyl on March 26th is the new album Xiu Xiu, ‘Oh No’, a collection of duets. From it, the band have released a new video for lead single ‘A bottle of rum’, in which they reaquaint themselves with Liz Harris, who previously collaborated on 2007’s Creepshow.
Of the track, Stewart from the band says,.“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. 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 and break some of these rules but in a way that respects that Cory had very good reasons for imposing them in the first place, so in this voicing, D major is an insipid chord.”
The track goes in heavy on the melodies, with Harris vocal harmonies having this delicious echoey beauty about them, with mainstays Stewart and Angela trading vocal lines. Underneath, Xiu Xiu have this lovely embellished style about them, as if The Cure were a 4AD band. Can’t really give higher praise than that.
It’s accompanied by a video directed by the bands Angela SEO. Explaining it, she says “This video, as often is with Xiu videos, is an amalgamation of things that I want and am into lately. When I was a kid, I always wanted a video camera and was fascinated with tapes, but couldn’t afford one. I’m an adult now, and can buy what I want, so I bought a used mini DV camera. I like how the tapes look, the specific way they capture color, and also the tactile feeling of inserting and ejecting a tape.” She adds: “Also, I’ve always had a love for noir films and their penchant for shadows, fate, doom, and drama. Our friend and superb drummer David Kendrick (Sparks, Devo, Xiu Xiu) wrote a three part noir story and this is part 1. In keeping with the times, most of this was intentionally DIY, shot alone or with just a couple of friends and a tripod.”
Check it out, here