The Needle Drop

Xiu Xiu - "Don't smoke in bed"

New MusictheneedledropComment

Divisive experimental pop act Xiu Xiu recently announced that it will be putting out a whole album of Nina Simone covers, simply titled Nina. Above, you can stream the opening track, an astonishing cover of "Don't Smoke in Bed." Xiu Xiu's take on the song eschews the original's powerfully dour piano, and instead juxtaposes frontman Jamie Stewart's whispered and throaty croon against peppy, intermittent brass arrangements to breathtaking effect. The result is an almost paradoxical balance of cheeriness and despondency.

Nina is due out December 3 and will be Xiu Xiu's debut on Graveface Records.