Track Review: Xiu Xiu – Falling

By Jonathan Fuchs, Copy Editor

[Polyvinyl; 2016]

Rating: 8/10

Art-pop band Xiu Xiu is not new to putting their strange sounds into others’ work. In late 2013, it released Nina, an experimental album that saw them tackle jazz to cover some of Nina Simone’s discography. On Record Store Day 2016, the band will release Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, which sees it covering the music from David Lynch’s strange and beautiful show Twin Peaks.

“Falling,” the extended version of the show’s theme song and the first single from this new record, is one of the most chilling songs to be released so far this year. Every new sound, from singer Jamie Stewart’s vocals to the thundering, dreamy climactic moments, breathes new life into the song while staying true to Twin Peaks’s look and feel.

The track starts quiet with the iconic melody instantly hitting the listener’s eardrums, with strong percussion following it, something not present in the original. Julee Cruise’s whispered high-pitched vocals are replaced with Stewart’s shattered falsetto, which brings the same emotions and sadness from the original, but sounding more emotionally ripped apart. All of a sudden, an intense crescendo builds up and the listener is welcomed with enormous bass that is guaranteed to please ears and bend minds, especially with its drowning reverb and gentle vibraphones.

There isn’t much else to the seven minute long track, as it follows this pattern for the rest of its runtime, but so did the original song, which shows Xiu Xiu’s dedication to accurately replicating the sound and atmosphere while still bring a lot of new things to the table.

Is this cover better than the original? It’s certainly debatable. But there’s no denying that there’s no better band to cover the music of Twin Peaks than Xiu Xiu, as their unique perspective gives the songs and the show itself a whole new life.

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