In the 10 years Xiu Xiu has been putting out music, only one thing has remained constant: singer and guitarist Jamie Stewart.
Since 2002, Stewart, the band's only constant member, has put out eight full-length records including his latest, this year's Dear God, I Hate Myself.
Last year, long-time contributor Caralee McElroy quit the band to move on to other projects. She had been working closely with Xiu Xiu since 2004 and fans were skeptical of Stewart's productions without McElroy, but Dear God satisfies and even expands into areas Stewart has not gone before.
Enlisting the help of Angelo Seo to help pick up where McElroy left off, Xiu Xiu has created another record that will satisfy fans but probably end up confusing first-time listeners. People who haven't heard Stewart's recordings before might have trouble understanding why he does what he does.
Stewart's history of twisted lyrical content is also seen here. For instance, "Chocolate Makes You Happy" is a song about bulimia that gives sickening fingers-down-the-throat imagery and features Stewart's nasally, yelping vocals. This coupled with the video they released last week for the title track, "Dear God, I Hate Myself," might be about all the bulimia references the average listener can take.