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Baker's Dozen

Oh Yes! Jamie Stewart Of Xiu Xiu's Favourite Music
Hannah Pezzack , April 7th, 2021 09:03

As Xiu Xiu release latest album Oh No, Jamie Stewart guides us through his 13 toppermost records – including three compilations! I only want the best ice cream, he tells Hannah Pezzack


Animals of Africa, Sounds of The Jungle, Plain & Bush
We used to play this while driving around on tour. The first time I heard it, I was in the van and I wasn’t paying attention and these sweet gooey sounds started coming out of the speaker. As if animals were being gently squeezed. Later on, I realised it was the rhinoceroses, although in the moment, I definitely didn’t make the equation. Those lovely noises are not at all what you expect from such beasts haha. There’s also such intense feeling there. After repeated listens, and this is going to sound preposterous, but it's almost like you can hear each individual personality of the creatures. With industrial, historical field recordings – trains, urban spaces – they are fascinating because they put you in a particular environment. Yet these are our fellow Earthlings. And, because the recordings are fairly short, you don’t get bored of them. You can kind of zone out or meditate. You can feel super close to that particular creature, which is, of course ridiculous. I'm sure that many of the species are dead by now, probably murdered by some stupid white people. It’s a strangely dear record, even though I’m certain that these animals would mutilate me if I got too close to them. Amidst all the news of human destruction, here is a wonderful part of the natural world that we have not completely wrecked. It's a reminder to continue to fight for it. I’m being very romantic. There’s probably a rational conservationist out there who wants to stomp on me right now.