June 03, 2005

Xiu Xiu "Fleshettes"

Jamie Stewart writes some sad, depressing, bleak music. You think Morrissey's miserable? You think Joy Division's suicidal? Spend some time with Xiu Xiu's Fabulous Muscles or A Promise, and then tell me exactly how depressing you think those other bands really are. Though they are soon to release their next collection of sad songs, they've seen fit to release a two-song single, with two gorgeous and radically different songs. The first song, "Fleshette," is sung by Stewart, and it's a pretty song that's drowned under the hiss and noise of a computer-generated sheet of noise. It's hard to make out what Stewart's singing, and it's probably for the best.

The other song, "Helsabot of Caraleebot," stands in stark opposition to the previous song. It's a (barely) acoustic song that borders on a capella, sung by Caralee McElroy. Her voice strains above a whisper, and she sounds as if she's just taken a shot of morphine. It's fitting, too, because the song's about having a fight with someone about drug use. It meanders for several minutes; at times, she sounds as if she's nodding off, barely remembering to come back to singing. It doesn't distract from one simple fact: the song's utterly beautiful.

Beauty and ugly, those two things come together in Xiu Xiu's music, and they come together quite wonderfully on this little single. For those who might not be familiar with Xiu Xiu's style, this record serves as a fine introduction to their bleak outlook on life.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.xiuxiu.org
Label Website: http://www.acuareladiscos.com

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