Albums to watch


Xiu Xiu


Ninth collection of art rock / synth pop songs from the Californian band led by Jamie Stewart

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Bella Union
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 10.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    Has you imagining peak-era New Order waking up amid the horrors of the new millennium. Magnificent
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  2. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    What Xiu Xiu demonstrate throughout Always, is the way in which they can lay down so starkly how terrible life can be and how fucked up one can feel and create something amazing, angry, political, fierce and defiant out of all of it
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  3. 9.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    The technicolor torch song, the dance paradise of the disco, the mournful elsewhere of Morissey’s new wave — Xiu Xiu everywhere extends these traditions even as it tweaks their clichés and co-optation
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  4. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    Experimentation and weirdness still abound
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  5. 8.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    While undeniably distinctive, also invites comparison to Antony Hegarty, Scott Walker, Carey Mercer, Depeche Mode, and The Smiths
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  6. 8.0 |   Blurt

    The whole affair contains nods to c-c-chilly early Depeche Mode emotionalism, the National's buggy melodicism, scads of uneasy percussion, and the type of queer-culture espirit that incubated Perfume Genius's madness
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  7. 8.0 |   music OMH

    Aways, is a riot; serving up its significant doses of ire, disgust and despair on a plate of pop-savvy, hook-laden electronica that somehow sounds both blithe and engaged, serious and ephemeral
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  8. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Emotionally charged, devastatingly destructive, and often uncomfortable, it can make for a nerve-wracking listen, but certainly a rewarding one
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  9. 8.0 |   The Fly

    Frankly, we absolutely must fling this filth at our pop kids
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  10. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Febrile synth-pop, dotted with orchestral excursions and abrupt electronics. Print edition only

  11. 8.0 | mag

    Xiu Xiu continue to work on their discourse-pop, situated somewhere between celebrating their own marginalization and political incorrectness
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  12. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    For those who are already in awe of Jamie Stewart’s twisted, brooding and persistently curious music, this album contains some of his greatest and most expansive work to date
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  13. 7.8 |   Paste Magazine

    Not an easy album to enjoy, but it’s a harder one not to
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  14. 7.5 |   BBC

    In generous swathes Always is also one of Stewart’s most accessible albums. Once you’re immersed, there’s a gripping, chilling fascination that’s hard to shake
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  15. 7.3 |   Pitchfork

    The songs on the project's latest, Always, would easily fit elsewhere in Jamie Stewart's disquieting catalogue
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  16. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    Perhaps their most ambitious to date
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  17. 7.0 |   Spin

    Jamie Stewart's cutting art-rock (rape, murder, abortion) still reflects life's cruelty, but also provides pop escape
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  18. 7.0 |   DIY

    Much like a pungent stilton, this is difficult prospect to recommend or advise against, especially if this is your first experience of Xiu Xiu
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  19. 7.0 |   NME

    Every word and note here is positively swollen with meaning
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  20. 7.0 |   Bowlegs

    Wherever you stand on Xiu Xiu, this is a fine record, built in equal measure with distress and electronic machinery
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  21. 6.0 |   Q

    Avant-pop, punk and politics. Print edition only

  22. 6.0 |   Rave Magazine

    A brave and intimidating album that’s going to reward and enthrall listeners who dare to enter its dark and labyrinthine corridors
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  23. 5.5 |   Prefix

    There are plenty of moments where Always feels like retread, or like its holding on to sounds and textures Stewart long ago left behind (or should have)
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  24. 4.5 |   Beats Per Minute

    Simply another Xiu Xiu record
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Xiu Xiu: Always

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  • 2. Joey's Song £0.99
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  • 5. I Love Abortion £0.99
  • 6. The Oldness £0.99
  • 7. Chimney's Afire (Mickensian Suicide) £0.99
  • 8. Gul Mudin £0.99
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