Xiu Xiu announce new LP ‘Ignore Grief’ & US tour (watch “Maybae Baeby” video)
Xiu Xiu, the experimental project of Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo, now joined by new member David Kendrick (Sparks, Devo, Gleaming Spires), have announced a new album with a single release and North American tour. Ignore Grief is due on March 3 via Polyvinyl (pre-order). The first single, "Maybae Baeby," is dark and clattering in its industrial experimentalism. Jamie Stewart explains:
In "Maybae Baeby," the singer's viewpoint is of a young person hiding in a fantastical conversation with a tarantula in order to escape a physically abusive parent. We were hiding within this fantasy of a fantasy, following the model of the late 1950s sub genre of "Teen Tragedy Songs," to try and find a way to come to terms with a number of staggeringly horrendous events that occurred to people close to the band over the last 2 years.
The single comes with a haunting music video directed by Angela Seo, who says, “The video is, for better or worse, about literal isolation, all the things we tell ourselves to should do or not do, forcing open a small crack and crawling deep into it, even if we know we shouldn’t, just to get away to somewhere else, even if it’s worse.” Check out "Maybae Baeby" below.
Ignore Grief aims to explore the horror in personal tragedy, reaching for empathy over shock value. A press release reads:
This is a record of halves.
Angela Seo sings on half of the record. Jamie Stewart sings on half of the record.
Half of the songs are experimental industrial. Half of the songs are experimental modern classical.
Half of it is real. Half of it is imaginary.
The real songs attempt to turn the worst life has offered, to five people the band is connected with, into some kind of desperate shape that does something, anything, other than grind and brutalize their hearts and memory within these stunningly horrendous experiences.
The imaginary songs are an expansion and abstract exploration of the early rock and roll “Teen Tragedy” genre as jumping off point to decontaminate the band’s own overwhelming emotions in knowing and living with what has happened to these five people.
What none of this record does and despite the oft repeated assertion, what Xiu Xiu has never done, is attempt to superficially shock the listener. Instead, Xiu Xiu has spent twenty years grappling with how to process, to be empathetic towards, to disobey and to reorganize horror; there is no other word for it other than horror.
The motivation for writing Ignore Grief to be about a child who was sold into prostitution by his mother, a junior high student who was kidnapped and murdered, incessantly choosing alcohol and cocaine over one’s family, becoming lost in the bleakest, darkest aspects of cultish spirituality and committing suicide as means to escape and protest a life of violent sex work, is because the members of Xiu Xiu themselves are deeply shocked.
Old friend and new member David Kendrick (Sparks, Devo, Gleaming Spires) joins Angela Seo and Jamie Stewart through whatever this may be and whatever it may mean and why ever it may have occurred. The point of aesthetic examination is to see if there is any way to come out the other side or if there is even any reason. In either case there may not be, but to simply turn away would be yet a further act of destruction.
Find the album art and tracklist for Ignore Grief below.
Xiu Xiu also announced a US tour, running through April and May, with a stop on April 19 at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Tickets to all shows are on sale Friday, January 13, at 10am local. All dates below.
Ignore Grief Tracklisting
1. The Real Chaos Cha Cha Cha
2. 666 Photos of Nothing
3. Esquerita, Little Richard
4. Maybae Baeby
5. Tarsier, Tarsier, Tarsier, Tarsier
7. Border Factory
8. Dracula Parrot, Moon Moth
9. Brothel Creeper
10. For M
Xiu Xiu -- 2023 Tour Dates
04/02 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
04/03 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
04/04 - Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
04/05 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar
04/06 - Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
04/07 - Austin, TX @ Elysium
04/09 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
04/10 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelsea’s Live
04/12 - Memphis, TN @ Greenroom - Crosstown Arts
04/13 - Nashville, TN @ The Blue Room - Third Man Records
04/14 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
04/15 - Savannah, GA @ Lodge Of Sorrows
04/16 - Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
04/18 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat
04/19 - New York, NY @ LPR
04/20 - Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
04/21 - Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
04/22 - Harrisburg, PA @ Stage on Herr
04/23 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
04/25 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
04/26 - Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
04/27 - Rock Island, IL @ Rozz Tozz
04/28 - Iowa City, IA @ Trumpet Blossom
04/29 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
04/30 - Denver, CO @ HQ
05/01 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
05/03 - Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
05/04 - Portland, OR @ Holocene
05/05 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
05/07 - Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon