Photo: Julia Brokaw

Xiu Xiu team with Grouper for “A Bottle Of Rum” and announce new album with stacked list of collaborators

Xiu Xiu have been teasing some news for a while, and today they reveal it in full force: they have a new album called OH NO coming out on March 26 through Polyvinyl, and the list of collaborators is truly immense. With Sharon Van Etten, Twin Shadow, Chelsea Wolfe, Owen Pallett, and Circuit Des Yeux as just a handful of examples, you should already be excited. See the full list below.

The first song to be shared from OH NO is “A Bottle Of Rum”, which features Liz Harris aka Grouper. Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart says:

“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….

Stewart goes on to say, “I had been trying to write a song on this bajo quinto to no avail and then drunkenly (A Bottle of Rum) listened to the Grouper 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, the gem behind Grouper and 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.”

Indeed, the stars have aligned magnificently on “A Bottle Of Rum”, but what’s most surprising about it is that it finds both artists moving out of their more obtuse musical approaches and writing a straightforward pop rock banger. Stewart’s voice is a natural fit for the booming blast, and this might be the most boisterous thing that Liz Harris has ever sung on – and she sounds great as ever.

Watch the video for “A Bottle Of Rum” by Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo below.

Xiu Xiu’s album of duets, OH NO, comes out on March 26 through Polyvinyl. the track list is:

1. Sad Mezcalita (Sharon Van Etten)
2. I Cannot Resist (Deb Demure / Drab Majesty)
3. The Grifters (Haley Fohr / Circuits des Yeux)
4. Goodbye For Good (Greg Saunier / Deerhoof)
5. OH NO (Susanne Sachsse)
6. Rumpus Room (Angus Andrew / Liars)
7. Fuzz Gong Fight (Angela Seo / Xiu Xiu)
8. I Dream of Someone Else Entirely (Owen Pallett)
9. One Hundred Years (Chelsea Wolfe) [The Cure cover]
10. A Classic Screw (Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo)
11. It Bothers Me All the Time (Jonathan Meiburg / Shearwater)
12. Saint Dymphna (George Lewis Jr. / Twin Shadow)
13. Knock Out (Alice Bag)
14. A Bottle of Rum (Liz Harris / Grouper)
15. ANTS (Valerie Diaz)

Pre-order/save it here. You can find Xiu Xiu on Facebook and Instagram.