Xiu Xiu - 'OH NO'

7/10

Over the last two decades, we have watched as Xiu Xiu not only push the boundaries of contemporary experimental pop, but also reconfigure themselves to fit in with the world around them. With a shedload of material under their belts and numerous band members falling away as the years went on, the remaining duo Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo have kept the adventurous spirit of the band alive a lot longer than anyone would have imagined as they now return with their twelfth studio album 'OH NO', a record that almost sees them turn a corner in terms of opening up to the outside world.

In recent years, the two have confined themselves to each other. Seeing the world as a more hostile place than most, they preferred to keep their creative process to themselves and focus their inspirations through each other. But for 'OH NO', they find themselves regularly collaborating with others for the first time, giving us one of their more distinctive offerings. While the inclusion of other artists is a rare sight, we still get to experience the same raw and distinctive direction they have always looked to possess, making for a bold and captivating listen throughout.

While this release focuses itself more of the ambient and atmospheric side of their sound, 'OH NO' still gives us that bright and brilliant Xiu Xiu we are always looking to hear. Interesting, unusual, and most importantly unique, they take to this collection with the same rigour and confidence we have always heard from them, and after nearly twenty years show no sign of slowing down yet.

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