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Boomkat Product Review:
The utter intensity and seemingly insatiable thirst for bruisngly personal content of Jamie Stewart in his Xiu Xiu guise has led many to accuse the project (and particularly 'La Foret') of nothing more than an elaborate singer-songwriter parody. Is it bollocks. Intimate in a similar spirit to Antony and the Johnsons and with an inflection that is oddly reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, Stewart casts fragile webs of predominantly acoustic instrumentation (guitars, vibraphones, bass clarinets, celli, autoharps etc.) around digital beats that embrace his petulant tourettes style bursts of vocals with assurdity and grace. Opening song 'Clover' is a case in point, with false endings ahoy as the composition lurches to keep pace with Stewart's hand-wringing vocals, lamenting his kamikaze destructive inclinations towards relationships. With Stewart himself describing songs like 'Saturn' as being about "wanting to rape the president to death and eat his body", it's obvious that 'La Foret' is pretty hard-going stuff in places. However give it all a chance and the thrilling combination of post rock sensibilities and tortured soul grandstanding makes for an utterly compelling aural document.