Remixed & Covered
“Experimental” and “avante garde” may be the best ways to describe a band like Xiu Xiu. In earlier years their albums have come across as mind-boggling, nearly indescribable noise. Their newest release, Remixed & Covered, offers up some big-named friends that help decode the language that is Xiu Xiu.
Some may call it pretentious and others may question its integrity, but it can certainly be said that credibility is brought to this double disc by the likes of Devendra Banhart, Gold Chains and Kid 606, to name a few. Their interpretations of Xiu Xiu’s songs bring some sort of peace to the whole “noise” experience, or at least they did for me. The songs range from dancey to drone-like, ethereal, to heavily synthed. Oxbow’s cover of “Saturn” sounds a lot like the Black Heart Procession, while Marissa Nadler’s cover of “Clowne Town” brings a lighter feel. Some tracks are filled with quality while others are a bit headache inducing. If you can get past the obvious differences in the songs, which make it seem less like a compilation and more like a frantic jumble, the three-piece Xiu Xiu (Jamie Stewart, Caralee McElroy and Chess Smith) have proven that they are talented song writers, despite being almost experimental to a fault.