Xiu Xiu’s divisive. Just look at the comments for their take on Björk’s “Isobel” for Enjoyed. The beauty? You know they expect it. As the band’s promos shots and Jamie Stewart’s Dennis Cooper, Mishima, and Céline-referencing lyrics suggest, those folks read “transgressive” books. They know about difficult art. Fittingly, the Stewart-directed video for “F.T.W.” shuffles through pages (fiction, non, Céline, witchcraft, aviary, sociological) along with other everyday objects — plants, branches, floors, shoes, windows, cartoon pandas. The most arresting images are various limbs, including the crease where two bare legs meet, echoing Women As Lovers’ bedtime bondage album art.
XX’s video for “I Do What I Want, When I Want” involved backyard wrestlers and the band mugging for the camera (including Jamie’s awesome solo dance), but this is more about quick flashes, little fragments you need to follow closely for the narrative to pop up. There are cute and fluffy cats, but the thing ends with triumphant bloodletting. Because this is Xiu Xiu.
For the win. Or, right, more likely, fuck the world.