Xiu Xiu

One of the most anticipated releases of the year is an album of covers. But since this is Xiu Xiu, one of the most avant-garde bands on the block, it will be no ordinary album – ‘Nina’ is a tribute to Nina Simone, one of the greatest jazz musicians in the world, combining free jazz and Xiu Xiu’s uniquely art-rock twist.

The idea, says Jamie Stewart, the leader of the band, came from talking to Michel Gira of the Swans, with whom he shares a love of Nina Simone. Stewart has chosen a number of prestigious collaborators, some of the most respected jazz musicians around from Tim Berne to Mary Halvorson and has entrusted the arrangements to Chess Smith, who was one of the most important collaborators of Nina Simone.

The first single will be a Simone classic ‘Don’t Smoke in Bed’ and the album includes other masterpieces like ‘Don’t Explain’, ‘Where Can I Go Without You’ and many more. ‘Nina’ marks a new chapter in the ongoing odyssey of Jamie Stewart, who continues to push the musical horizons for Xiu Xiu, combining original material with covers embracing Joy Division to Rihanna to Erasure.

 

Pierfrancesco Pacoda

 

 

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