Reviews

Xiu Xiu
Girl With Basket of Fruit

(Upset The Rhythm)

8/10

Unsettling. That is the first (and kinda only) word that comes to mind just after listening to ‘Girl With Basket of Fruit’, Xiu Xiu’s eleventh studio album, recorded with a new lineup comprising founder Jamie Stewart, Thor Harris, Jordan Geiger and Angela Seo, and produced by Seo together with Greg Saunier of Deerhoof.

It’s unsettling as most current reflections on art, death and society tend to be, starting with the title itself: a gender-swapped reference to the famous painting by Caravaggio (a true and revolutionary master of art with a reprobate biography) depicting an apparently innocent kid holding Mother Nature’s gifts, who is, instead, a lascivious boy offering a luscious bouquet of fruit. It is both a metaphor and a blatant manifesto of Xiu Xiu’s will to take out the worst residing inside each one of us and sing its praises.

Musically, it’s made up of voodoo passages, techno rhythms, broken voices singing desperately over low and deep strings from a horror musical, screams, stripped down beats with synthesised vocals and house music intermissions. If I was to add an item to the long list of possible descriptions that introduces this dark record, ‘Girl With Basket of Fruit’ is the sound of Mark Fisher quoting Children of Men in his seminal Capitalist Realism

Support Loud And Quiet from £4 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £4 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£7 per month) and the rest of the world (£9 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.