Xiu Xiu

After a handful of records that were probably more disturbing than effective, Bay Area art-rockers Xiu Xiu broke out last year with Fabulous Muscles, the most accessible work yet for a group that decidedly needs that access. Out-of-the-blue electro-beats, creaky drones and spasmodic dissonance wrap around the freaky, almost-cabaret delivery of crooner Jamie Stewart. With powerful lungs and the willpower to creep out the world, this guy is a prime-time slot away from being the next Daron Beck.
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Michael Chamy