Los Angeles songwriter Jamie Stewart has been releasing an array of emotionally transcendent albums as Xiu Xiu for two decades.
Stewart captured the pains of being a human in a world that is constantly at odds with your state of mind and well being.
On his latest album OH NO, Stewart brings together a rotating cast of collaborators and dear friends whose work he’s looked to for inspiration during lockdown. The guests include Sharon Van Etten, Grouper, Chelsea Wolfe, Alice Bag, Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr, Liars, Drab Majesty, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, Lawrence English and Circuit des Yeaux’s Haley Fohr.
The album was recorded in 2020 at Stewart’s home studio alongside his creative partner and bandmate, Angela Seo. OH NO manages to weave through the musical history of Stewart’s career while creating new spaces of exploration, offering hushed ballads to claustrophobic industrial leanings.
Below, Stewart shares a list of art and hobbies that helped him through isolation and the pandemic.
Battle in Heaven by Carlos Reygadas
Black Pond by Jessica Sarah Rinland
Dead Pigs by Cathy Yan
I Am Not A Witch by Rungano Nyoni
An Elephant Sitting Still by Hu Bo
The Bitter Tears of Petra Van Kant by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds by Bert Williams
All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones
Chernobyl: A Stalker’s Guide by Darmon Richter
Malina by Ingeborg Bachman
Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave
Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (for the 100th time)
Population 1280 by Jim Thompson
Toys & Hobbies
Fujifilm mini-8 instax camera
Trogotronic TR-Valkyrie tube synth
Gameboy DS and all the advance wars games
Colored pencils and felt pens
Plants, I had a lot before and now… I have a lot of plants!!
Bread from Giuliano’s
Any and all snobby chocolate
Any and all citrus fruits (California, I love you)
Ice cream from Van Lewen
Kettle brand salt and vinegar potato chips