Xiu Xiu’s devastatingly macabre, appropriately cacophonous new album Ignore Grief was released on Polyvinyl in March 2023.. The band’s current iteration includes existing members Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo, now joined by old friend and new member David Kendrick (Sparks, Devo, Gleaming Spires). Ignore Grief is a record of halves. Angela Seo sings on half of the record. Jamie Stewart sings on half of the record. Half of the songs are experimental industrial. Half of the songs are experimental modern classical. Half of it is real. Half of it is imaginary.
The real songs attempt to turn the worst life has offered, to five people the band is connected with, into some kind of desperate shape that does something, anything, other than grind and brutalize their hearts and memory within these stunningly horrendous experiences. The imaginary songs are an expansion and abstract exploration of the early rock and roll “Teen Tragedy” genre as jumping off point to decontaminate the band’s own overwhelming emotions in knowing and living with what has happened to these five people.
What none of this record does and despite the oft repeated assertion, what Xiu Xiu has never done, is attempt to superficially shock the listener. Instead, Xiu Xiu has spent twenty years grappling with how to process, to be empathetic towards, to disobey and to reorganize horror; there is no other word for it other than horror.
The motivation for writing Ignore Grief to be about a child who was sold into prostitution by his mother, a junior high student who was kidnapped and murdered, incessantly choosing alcohol and cocaine over one’s family, becoming lost in the darkest aspects of cultish spirituality and committing suicide as means to escape and protest a life of violent sex work, is because the members of Xiu Xiu themselves are deeply shocked.
Xiu Xiu – Ignore Grief Album Tour
silent green | Gerichtstrasse 35 in 13347 Berlin