Xiu Xiu – Nina // Album Review

XiuXiu_NinaSimoneFrench Kiss Label Group // December 3rd

Take a few steps back before listening to Jamie Stewart take a sledgehammer to the songbook of Nina Simone. Because he blasts away the soulful veneer of these 11 tunes to reveal their dark core as his quivering baritone forges them into something supremely troubling and eerie. Forgiving his rather similar approach to each song, he nails it on Just Say I Love Him by capturing Simone’s own troubled intensity as freaky sax legend Tim Berne lays down a searing, soaring accompaniment. By putting his voice so close in the mix, Stewart channels an uneasy claustrophobia that forces you to clutch at his every last word.