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Mitski & Xiu Xiu share “Between the Breaths” from ‘How to Talk to Girls at Parties’ soundtrack

Mitski at Brooklyn Steel
photo by Em Grey

Neil Gaiman‘s short story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” has been adapted into a film with the same name, directed and co-written by John Cameron Mitchell (of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, etc) and starring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson and Matt Lucas. How to Talk to Girls at Parties involves aliens and the punk scene in 1970’s London, and it’s in theaters May 18 via A24, the same distributors behind Ladybird, Moonlight, and The Disaster Artist. Watch a trailer below.

The film’s soundtrack is due out on May 11 with songs from The Damned, A.C. Newman, Xiu Xiu, Ezra Furman, and more. Its final track, “Between the Breaths,” has been released today, and you can listen to it below. It pairs music from Xiu Xiu with vocals from Mitski, and it makes for a unique, spacey sound,, that even incorporates spoken word passages from Mitski. Listen to it below.

As Stereogum reports, John Cameron Mitchell spoke about the soundtrack:

Naturally the film includes 70’s classics: the first UK punk single “New Rose” by The Damned (Captain Sensible & Rat Scabies did time in Croydon); Lou Reed’s “I Found a Reason” (thank you Hal Willner and Laurie Anderson!), “Nursery Chymes” by the great Bruno Wizard of The Homosexuals (who cameos as our club MC). But DIY being both our medium and our message, this album favors the new stuff and we had didn’t have room for period gems like Bruno’s “Soft South Africans” or Dub Specialist’s “Starring Dub”. The punk side of things is anchored by our fictional band Dyschords, created by Bryan Weller and singer Martin Tomlinson (bless you Danny Fields for those YouTubes videos of Martin’s band Selfish Cunt). Kudos to Dyschords producer/mixer Rory Attwell. AC Newman contributed the instant classics “Fuck All” and “Angry Universe” (inspired by a line from the short story) while Ezra Furman delivered the creamy “Rainy Life”. Along with Justin Craig and Tits of Clay (the Broadway Hedwig band), I formed The Dyslexic Cnuts (which lasted for a day… so punk) to record the song “Extraction” with cabaret legend Amber Martin who offers the melt-in-your-mouth “Bermuda” (and who also voices the soul singer in Mum’s kitchen scene). The vast and deep alien soundscape was conjured by sonic sorcerers Matmos (who also give us the faux krautrock “Flecken”, or “Cum Stain” in German). Maestro Nico Muhly provided alien choral textures and a glorious Exit Requiem for our departing aliens (or was it a Brexit Requiem?). Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and I spawned the trans-species alien-punk “Eat Me Alive”, performed live by Alex Sharp and Elle Fanning, as well as our space-dance credit song “Between the Breaths” voiced by indie goddess Mitski.

Mitski recently finished wrapped up a tour with Lorde and Run the Jewels. She plays FORM Arcosanti in May, and in the summer plays some solo shows. Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart has also been playing solo shows throughout April, and he has a special upcoming show at Guggenheim Museum early in May.

Neil Gaiman will be Mermaid King to Amanda Palmer’s Mermaid Queen at this summer’s Coney Island Mermaid Parade. He recently appeared in conversation with Laurie Anderson at the 92nd St Y, and you can watch video of that below. He also appeared on this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, which you can read Bleeding Cool’s recap of.


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