Xiu Xiu Dear God, I Hate Myself

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For those reading the title of Xiu Xiu's latest record and wondering, "They're kidding, right?" the answer is: probably. Because despite packing the group's last six albums with some of the most serious heart-on-sleeve lyrics ever heard in indie rock, frontman Jamie Stewart actually has quite a sense of humor—and it seems like it's finally beginning to surface. At the very least, Dear God, I Hate Myself marks a new level of maturity and self-awareness for the band. When, on the majestically arranged, Scott Walker-esque opener, "Gray Death," Stewart half-croons "You expect me to be outrageous/I will be extra-outrageous," one can't help but feel like he's now on the outside looking in—like an upbeat, self-reflexive, Xiu Xiu-on-Xiu Xiu post-modern experiment.