Unclouded Sky

Xiu Xiu - Unclouded Sky
Critic Score
User Score
Based on 46 ratings
Liked by 2 people
April 19, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polyvinyl / Label
Avant-Folk / Genres
xiuxiu.org / Website
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I initially liked the field recordings in between each track as they acted as a bit of a palette cleanser and put you in a different headspace for each track but towards the end of this album, they began to make the album drag on for a bit. I do like the majority of these covers but it does feel like the album is overstaying its welcome.
Ween - White Pepper
A collection of "covers of both Caribbean and American folk songs originally composed from 1850 to 1920" interspersed with field recordings from a rain-forest.
Jamie Stewart's idiosyncratic vibrato tone is PERFECT for setting a scene; a paradox of both a parallel and contrast to the sounds of nature.
Unclouded sky's 'I'll fly away' is one of my favourite acoustic guitar songs ever... almost at the upper echelons of Nick Drake's Pink Moon.
This is a heartbreaking, emotional release from Xiu Xiu, very far astray from their previous releases, it's folk for god sake. It's emotional, it's real. It's really good. The album gets darker as it goes on, starting off cheerily, but slowly becoming more and more brooding.

Favourite Tracks: Blood of the Lamb, I'll Fly Away, Lonesome Valley, All fo' You, Just as I am
Weakest Tracks: Church in the Wildwood
Man this album would be WAAAAAAAY better if the needless field recordings didn't break up every other song on this album. The folk songs on here are actually pretty good (I'll Fly Away, Lonesome Valley and Church In The Wildwood being a few of my favorites) and I wouldn't mind hearing Jamie Stewart take another crack at this sound but the field recordings and last track just knee-cap this album for me.
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Track List

  1. (Demerara)
  2. Blood of the Lamb
  3. (Berbice)
  4. I'll Fly Away
  5. (Kaieteur)
  6. Lonesome Valley
  7. (Essequibo)
  8. Wreck on the Highway
  9. (Rupununi)
  10. Church in the Wildwood
  11. (Cuyuni)
  12. Unclouded Sky
  13. (Kanuku)
  14. All fo' You
  15. (Guiana)
  16. Let the Lower Lights Be Burning
  17. (Pomeroon)
  18. Just As I Am
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Added on: October 18, 2014