7. Xiu Xiu - "Isobel"

Xiu Xiu On “Isobel”
“It is easy, I think, to miss Björk’s lyrics sometimes. Not because of any lack of shine on their part, but only because the production and orchestration on her songs is always so unique and wonderful. As much as I love the arrangement of ’Isobel,’ it is the, as you might have guessed by now, the lyrics that have killed me. They are, at least as I read them, almost an inward transgendered desperate affirmation and fantasy moth love song.’When she does it she means to’ is such a powerstation of ’fuck you, I am on a fit and rampage and destructive sex hyper revelation frenzy.’ In it, the line says ’I know what I am doing, I know I have taken it too far, I know that I love my downward and upward spiral. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ.’

For the music Gabrielle Athayde played about 30 minutes of improvised cello, which I edited/arranged in the computer. Ches Smith, wearing head phones, played drums along to an Okinawana folk music record. I bought a new microphone — that is, for this song appropriately, made of wood — and sang into it.”
- Jamie Stewart

Comments (12)
  1. sam  |   Posted on Apr 1st, 2008 0

    this is genius.

  2. god this freaked me out on first listen. but i’m thinking i’ll be agreeing with sam soon enough.

  3. this song honestly scares me. it first came on as i was entering a dark park all alone and i had to change it. i haven’t gotten all the way through it yet

    thanks xiu xiu, anything that scares me is worth commending

  4. Are you crazy?
    This is crap.
    Poor Björk.
    This Xiu Xiu should be arrested for that.

  5. Javier Pantoja  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2008 0

    Xiu Xiu & Gira’s cover of Queen & Bowie’s “Under Pressure” is cool but this one sucks big time.

  6. oswaldo  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2008 0

    Bjòrk music yet complex, so I will think twice to make a tribute about her music and not mess it up like this, about this band talent no question, but wrong proyect selection.

  7. Neil  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2008 0

    Wow, hahahaha, this is such garbage. I can’t believe it… Worse than hearing Antony Hegarty ruining songs on Volta

  8. Why can’t we all just appreciate the efforts made by Xiu Xiu and be done with it. Come on people lets be constructive with the critiscisms.

  9. Ben  |   Posted on Apr 12th, 2009 0

    I need to go swab out my ears and schedule some shock-therapy.

  10. Sven  |   Posted on Apr 19th, 2009 0

    As a fan of Xiu Xiu and not so much of fan as of Björk, this song is a complete disappointment. Loving this song is only missing the point of loving music itself.

  11. Bryan  |   Posted on Oct 12th, 2009 0

    As I type this reply I am sitting next to a really really huge uk subway poster for the single release for the original Isobel song back in 95. You can pull up the cover art somewhere.. It’s has to be the most gorgeous of all ever made for her work and probably the one thing that drove that stalker guy all nuts as hell over bjork.. lol.. So yeah, I guess I’m a fan of bjork, and I thought wow I should say – SOMETHING! I’m also a fan of Xiu Xiu. I’m really happy, and wasn’t surprised that Xiu Xiu covered this song at all. Anyone else wouldn’t have had enough artistic credibility to begin to do the meaning behind those powerful lyrics really any reasonable justification. It isn’t just Xiu Xiu’s interpretation of a bjork song though… It is a Xiu Xiu song now. I could see why Bjork purists would be offended, and I would be too if I didn’t own everything else already that Xiu Xiu has made so far, to begin to see the connection that I think I see in this cover they did of Isobel, which isn’t very apparent at first, and it is the best kind of connection too. And you don’t really have to like either of them to see this – It is what it is folks. You really have to learn to appreciate a whole new sound which is what Xiu Xiu did with this song, like the rest of the music they create. Like I said, I’m not surprised, because they are that good (relative at least to my own definition of what good means to me, not YOU!) , but not everyone understands what bjork’s music is all about, and even more people it seems know even less what Xiu Xius music is all about either. I guess I’m just like one those scene kids that doesn’t like to share their taste in music with the world because I don’t have much faith in universal acceptability or their apprehensive appeal to what is strange and abrasive even perhaps. That’s why Xiu Xiu did this song, at least that is how I imagine why I’m glad they did.

  12. absence of any legitimate concept, desire, or reinterpretation of the material you had in your hands.
    excess of ego.
    lack of content .

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