Basking in Melancholy with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart

Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) @ The Mothlight | 04.06.18

Xiu Xiu’s is a hard band to pin down but it’s safe to say that their music is possessed with a manic energy. That manic energy can be that of desperation, unease, terror, confrontation, and fear. In combination with Jamie Stewart’s raw, uninhibited lyrics, they conjure a state of purposeful tension. They are the musical equivalent to a pile of shattered glass—fragile, broken, and yet so very dangerous.

Performing solo on Friday night at The Mothlight, a seated Jamie Stewart remained a potent emotional force of nature. Without the usual cacophony generated by his full band, Stewart’s stripped down performance ached with his trademark anxious, agony-inducing vocals. Even his crowd-participatory cover of “Teenager in Love” was consumed by a cloud of melancholy. It was a captivating set spanning the full Xiu Xiu discography highlighted by a minimal version of “Get Up” off of last year’s excellent LP Forget.

Jamie Stewart’s solo debut An Aggressive, Chain Smoking Alcoholic will be released on April 21st via pinyon.

Upcoming Xiu Xiu/Jamie Stewart Tour Dates:
*=full band show
Apr 7 Durhman, Duke Coffee House*
Apr 9 London, Lexington w/Eric Chenaux
Apr 10 Paris, Olympic
Apr 11 Amsterdam, LAB111
Apr 12 Hamburg, Kampnagel
Apr 13 Duisburg, DJazz
Apr 14 Berlin, Roter Salon
Apr 15 Jena, Trafo (afternoon show)
Apr 16 Brno, Kabinet Muz
Apr 17 Wroclaw, Proza
Apr 18 Warsaw, Pogłos,
Apr 19 Krakow, Klub RE
Apr 20 Prague, Kasarna Karlin,
Apr 21 St Petersburg, Erarta
Apr 22 – Moscow, Les Club
May 8 – NYC, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum*