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The Air Force

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iTunes Review

There are reasons that Jamie Stewart, the singer-songwriter behind Xiu Xiu who has toured and performed with Devendra Banhart, has only marginally been included in all of those articles about weirdo folk, beardcore and the allegedly "new weird America." He's too weird, not to mention too interested in electronic music, and too emotionally invested in what he does. Few singers can make you as worried for their emotional well-being quite like he can; after listening to one of his albums, it's tempting to send a note to the dude, asking, "Are you alright, man?" Stewart's voice wavers atop the somber, jarring keyboards and off-beat drum sounds on The Air Force, and it's the sound of a man losing his, um, stuff. These are, of course, all wonderful things: having not been included in the chosen musical movement of the day, he has far less chance of being outdated and reacted against later. And especially during a time of war, it's awesome to hear such histrionics, especially when they're as eloquent, and as strangely erotic, as Stewart's.

Customer Reviews

did it again...

Xiu Xiu is back again with more of the same haunting and dark music you've come to expect out of them. Picks up right where they left off from Fabulous Muscles and La Foret. Noisy tracks like Boy Soprano and Vulture Piano stand out as do the subdue tracks like The Fox and the Rabbit and The Pineapple vs the Watermelon. A must get for any Xiu Xiu fan.

An excellent starting point to discover their music.

The Air Force is by far Xiu Xiu's most polished and produced album, but it in no way changes or buries what make them fantastic. Taking everything from electronic noise, jazz beats, folk guitar, and catchy pop, and combining it with some of the most eloquent and powerful lyrics anywhere, they continue to amaze.

probably their best album yet!

They always have good music. While they are unique from other bands, they have great vocals and the electronica twist to top it off!


Formed: 2000 in San Jose, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Taking their name from the 1998 Chinese film Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl, Xiu Xiu formed in San Jose, California with Cory McCullough, Yvonne Chen (publisher of the indie zine Zum), Lauren Andrews, and Jamie Stewart. Before forming Xiu Xiu, McCullough and Stewart played in the band Ten in the Swear Jar. Prior to the 2002 release of their first full-length album, Knife Play (released on vinyl through Absolutely Kosher and on disc through 5RC/Kill Rock Stars), the band made appearances on numerous...
Full Bio