It may be hard to believe after this last week of sub-freezing temperatures, but Terrace season is just around the corner. We’re excited to announce that one of the first events of 2012 to happen outdoors will bring two indie heavy-hitters to Madison. 2011 Polaris Prize nominee Dirty Beaches and dramatic synth-poppers Xiu Xiu will share the stage – and a Lake Mendota backdrop – on May 18th.
2011 was a breakout year for Vancouver-via-Taiwan artist Alex Zhang Hungtai, known by his stage name of Dirty Beaches. After a series of buzz-creating EP’s, he put out Badlands, his first full-length. Its lo-fi alternation between haunting (See: “Sweet 17”) and sullen (“Lord Knows Best” video below) grabbed the attention and superlatives of fans and critics alike. It earned an 8.2 and Best New Music from Pitchfork, landed Dirty Beaches a spot on Stereogum’s 40 Best New Artists, and (as previously mentioned) achieved a rare feat of being nominated for a Polaris Prize as a debut album. Dirty Beaches is definitely an artist to watch in 2012, and your chance to do the watching is May 18th.
As if that’s not enough, indie legends Xiu Xiu will play them in. Led by Jamie Stewart, 2012’s Always is definitely not their debut. In ten years the project’s produced 11 full length albums (not to mention just as many EP’s and 7″), all of them fantastic, known for their raw emotion and outside-the-box style. “Hi,” the first single and video from Always (See video below), shows that the quality of Xiu Xiu’s releases are not affected by their frequency, pairing Stewart’s pained vocals with intense electronic sounds and beats. Always comes out March 6th in the U.S., but is streaming over at Spin or available for immediate download with all pre-orders of CD or vinyl.
Openers Father Murphy will bring intensity themselves through their own brand of doom pop. “In Their Graves” from 2009’s …And He Told Us to Turn to the Sun displays just how well the Venice, Italy-based trio complement the styles of the headliners. It goes without saying that Father Murphy’s music is meant to be a spiritual experience. You’ll have to show up for their set on May 18th to see whether it achieves its goal.
Check out videos from Dirty Beaches and Xiu Xiu below and keep your eyes peeled for the Facebook event for more details. Head over to the calendar to see other upcoming dates.