Somewhere deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, there can be found a sturdy oak. Carved in the oak’s bark, the skin of the great tree itself, is a heart surrounding the following symbols: “XX + KRS.” To the untrained eye, this is the work of two dumb kids who just happened to have a knife. To those in the know, this represents the unending love between noise-pop group Xiu Xiu and their longtime label Kill Rock Stars.
Shed a tear, romantics, for that unending love… has ended. Gasp, quickly followed by shock! For the first time in Xiu Xiu’s history, they plan on releasing a full-length on a label with no Kill Rock Stars affiliation. But who shall put out such a record if not Kill Rock Stars? To whom have Xiu Xiu given their heart? The answer to both these questions is Polyvinyl Records, who shall release this new Xiu Xiu record in early 2012. The as-yet-untitled record will feature the drumming of Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, whose band also recently jumped from Kill Rock Stars to Polyvinyl, and the production work of super-producer/Paper Chase member John Congleton, whose band I assume is still on Kill Rock Stars.
Thankfully for my fragile heart, this move is the only change in the world of Xiu Xiu. But wait! This is not the only change! And my heart is strong as an ox, or at least an ox’s heart! Xiu Xiu’s new material will feature a brand-new Xiu Xiu, one including, in addition to current members Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo, Zac Pennington of Parenthetical Girls and Sam Mickens of The Dead Science. Now, Xiu Xiu has had lineup changes before, but this one’s extra significant, as the band’s forthcoming album will feature contributions both musical and lyrical from all band members. Before that record comes out, the band will test these new waters of collaboration with a Polyvinyl-released 7-inch coming out in September. On the A-side will be an original new song called “Daphney,” the first song Jamie Stewart and his new band members wrote together. Obviously, the B-side will feature a cover of Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World.”
In the midst of this whirlwind of change, the band has managed to enter the modern age by creating a Twitter account. A quick glance of the account’s feed reveals the statistical breakdown of tweets to be about 5% band news, 95% grotesque/bizarre/awesome open-ended questions that they like to call their “Queries ‘O’ the Day.” Here’s a prime example: “if you look outside and there is a GIANT pumpkin on your corner, who would you force to live inside of it?” And here is my answer: myself, because living in a GIANT pumpkin would be amazing.
While we shed tears, one eye weeping with sorrow for Xiu Xiu’s lost love with Kill Rock Stars, the other weeping with joy for their new love with Polyvinyl, we must remember that the group does plan to play some European festivals in the summer. Never forgot that, and also never forget that they’re playing a short US tour in September, within which they will stop at The Independent’s Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina. And please, please do not forget to listen to Xiu Xiu’s remix of Parenthetical Girls’ “Careful Who You Dance With,” their contribution to a forthcoming free Parenthetical Girls remix EP, over at Pitchfork.