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Xiu Xiu
La Foret
by Leanda Quinquet

If you’re looking for a relaxing, easy listen this album may not be the one to choose. No words can really define what Jamie Stewart and his band of solid backing musicians have produced here. Be prepared to be taken on a sonic adventure.

My roommate said it best. Upon walking past my room whilst I was listening to
La Foret for the 10th time or so, she said “Wow, this is like nothing I’ve ever heard before” and she’s right--this album is a stand alone gem. It's an eclectic melding of sub-genres brought together to create a large and powerful beast that’ll take over the room in a heartbeat.

The flow of the record takes some getting used to; heavy loud songs are followed by smoother, softer ones, until the end where the tracks tend to get sparser in instrumentation and more vocal-orientated.

Jamie Stewart is the man behind the madness; his lyrics are raw, emotive and full of stunning imagery. Throughout the record his vocals are hushed and haunting, delicate even when reaching for angry scream like notes. Vocals are tastefully utilized and are used to support the stunning instrumentation that at times has a beautiful soundtrack quality.

La Foret is a strong and confident disc and at no point do you feel as if the band is trying for individual uniqueness--there’s no need; they bleed it.  This is a record full of pure emotion, honesty and passion; a breath of fresh air to fill the void that is often present in our musical realms due to being force fed uninspiring mainstream filler at every turn.

With each listen you will notice something new and it’ll keep you on your toes and maintain your attention. Don’t even think about putting this record on when you’re puttering around the house or doing work because this album demands your attention. Crashing guitars, bells, beats and synths galore, will pick you up, spin you around and toss you to the side. You’ve been warned--this beautiful record is not to be ignored.