Smokin’, Xiu Xiu.

Smokin’, Xiu Xiu.

For as compulsive a creative mind as that of Jamie Stewart, that Xiu Xiu (of which he is the lone staple member) should turn to Nina Simone is of little surprise – it’s of course quicker to contrive a covers record than it is an original work, and the Tarheel was as artistically progressive as Stewart himself. Although to suggest Nina should be an oeuvre lacking either ingenuity or indeed integrity is to grossly undersell it by the seems of Don’t Smoke in Bed, during which Stewart’s sticky vocal relays Simone’s premonitory tale atop stark avant-jazz sootiness. An audacious repositioning of an essential work, it might not sound like the sort initially contrived of an evening on tour with bestial heck-mongers Swans, although both the resultant album and the concept behind it can be heard to have real legs already…

Nina is expected December 2nd via Graveface Records.

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