Xiu Xiu – “A Bottle Of Rum” (Feat. Grouper’s Liz Harris)
Xiu Xiu are releasing a duets album as the follow-up to 2019’s Girl With Basket Of Fruit. The noise group, now a duo with Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo, will put out OH NO in March and it comes with a stacked guest list that includes Sharon Van Etten, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, Chelsea Wolfe, Circuit Des Yeux’s Haley Fohr, Liars’ Angus Andrew, Owen Pallett, Twin Shadow, Alice Bag, and more.
Stewart and co. are introducing the album with “A Bottle Of Rum,” which is a duet with Grouper’s Liz Harris. It’s rare to hear Harris on such a relatively straight-forward pop song, and she works wonders here as the centerpiece of a smeary and blown-out jam. The two of them previously collaborated on the 2006 EP Creepshow.
Here’s Stewart’s musings on the song:
“About a year ago I bought a cheap bajo quinto, which is a 10 string low register guitar like instrument used in Tejano, conjunto and norteño musics. As it is a cheap one, only certain chords sound good on it. One of them, annoyingly, is the open ‘cowboy’ voicing of D major. When we started Xiu Xiu, founding member Cory McCulloch had a lot of rules for the band. One of them was we could never use this chord. It has become a creative game in the last few years to try and break some of these rules but in a way that respects that Cory had very good reasons for imposing them in the first place. I.e. in this voicing, D major is an insipid chord.
I had been trying to write a song on this bajo quinto to no avail and then drunkenly (A Bottle of Rum) listened to Liz’s song, “Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping.” A spark shone and feebly I tried to write something that, at least at first, sounded like it. I had asked Liz Harris, who is an old friend, if she would sing on this new record of duets. Initially I thought of her for another song but she specifically, although not knowing she had been the inspiration behind it in the first place, asked to be on this one. If the stars ever have aligned… well then.
Check out “A Bottle Of Rum” and the full tracklist below.
01 “Sad Mezcalita” (Feat. Sharon Van Etten)
02 “I Cannot Resist” (Feat. Drab Majesty’s Deb Demure)
03 “The Grifters” (Feat. Circuit Des Yeux’s Haley Fohr)
04 “Goodbye For Good” (Feat. Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier)
05 “OH NO” (Feat. Susanne Sachsse)
06 “Rumpus Room” (Feat. Liars’ Angus Andrew)
07 “Fuzz Gong Fight” (Feat. Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo)
08 “I Dream Of Someone Else Entirely” (Feat. Owen Pallett)
09 “One Hundred Years” (Feat. Chelsea Wolfe) (The Cure Cover)
10 “A Classic Screw” (Feat. Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo)
11 “It Bothers Me All The Time” (Feat. Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg)
12 “Saint Dymphna” (Feat. Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr.)
13 “Knock Out” (Feat. Alice Bag)
14 “A Bottle Of Rum” (Feat. Grouper’s Liz Harris)
15 ” ANTS” (Feat. Valerie Diaz)
OH NO is out 3/26 via Polyvinyl. Pre-order it here.