Music

Xiu Xiu - "Jenny GoGo" (Singles Going Steady)

"Jenny GoGo" is a tormented industrial nightmare, with Jamie Stewart's hushed, unsteady vocals proving far creepier than any of the screeching, ominous electronic noise could ever be.

Andrew Paschal: After taking the gentle yet ominous ethereality of the Twin Peaks soundtrack and running it through a meat grinder on last year's cover album, it's been nice hearing Xiu Xiu apply their idiosyncratic technique to their own material again. "Jenny GoGo" is a tormented industrial nightmare, with Jamie Stewart's hushed, unsteady vocals proving far creepier than any of the screeching, ominous electronic noise could ever be. Yet the persistent repetition of the ambiguous word "GoGo" at the end of each verse is almost, dare I say, poppy, in a Kate Bush circa-The Dreaming kind of way. Hardly a comfortable listen, the song is both dynamic and labyrinthine in a way that goes beyond shock value. It will likely remain intriguing for some time to come. [8/10]

Paul Carr: It’s important not to take Xiu Xiu for granted. Although they have been experimenting with noise for the 15 years, they still have the power to shock and surprise. “JennyGoGo” is as nightmarish and haunting as anything they have ever done. Their work reinterpreting the soundtrack to Twin Peaks has left a definite imprint but, whereas that contained moments of beauty and hope, this is as unnerving yet captivating as anything they have ever done. It suggests that they have disappeared down the rabbit hole and are genuinely terrified by what they’ve found. The song is a typically experimental electronic tune, blanketed in darkness. The steady beats are punctuated by genuinely unsettling, primeval, animalistic sounds of anguish. This is offset by the confessional angst that follows with the regretful line “What have I done? GoGo”. It suggests someone who is not entirely in control of their actions which has led them to do something terrible. As a song, it manages to worm its way into your brain until you find yourself fully immersed in its trauma. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: What better way is there to start off this year than with a heavy hit of the surreal? Disjointed lyrics are whispered and howled with haunting urgency, and discordant synths lend enthralling drama to this fascinating cut. “Jenny GoGo” is the meeting point between dark absurdity and low-level mania, and the constantly flashing animations that dance on top of it only add to the unearthly layers of the piece. There's nothing easy about this song, but it's well worth the struggle to comprehend. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: As a Xiu Xiu novice, I don't have much to go on here, but this is tense dangerous stuff. The synths provide a somewhat comforting point of reference, but emotionally this is fragile and anxious -- particularly the nervous screaming and brief moments when the song dips into quieter moments. It's like Depeche Mode in an insane asylum. [7/10]

Xiu Xiu's new album, Forget, releases 24 February via Polyvinyl.

SCORE: 7.75

 
TOUR DATES

03/16 Los Angeles, CA @ Union

03/17 Escondido, CA @ A Ship In The Woods

03/19 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

03/21 Seattle, WA @ Kremwork

03/22 Portland, OR @ Holocene

03/23-26 Knoxville, TN @ Big Ears Festival

03/30 Detroit, MI @ El Club

03/31 Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle

04/01 Jacksonville, FL @ The Sleeping Giant Film Festival

04/06 Brooklyn, NY @ Villain

04/07 Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle

04/08 Harrisburg, PA @ Cathedral Room at Der Maennerchor

04/09 Baltimore, MD @ The Wind-Up Space

04/11 Jersey City, NJ @ Monty Hall

04/12 New Haven, CT @ Bar

04/13 Providence, RI @ Columbus Theatre

04/14 Portsmouth, NH @ 3SArtspace

04/15 Boston, MA @ The Hardcore Stadium (Cambridge Elks Lodge)

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
Books
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.