2013 CONTINUES TO BE SOMETHING OF A RED LETTER YEAR FOR BLACK FRANCIS AND HIS MUCH-LOVED MASSACHUSETTS NOISEMAKERS PIXIES.
Today an EP of new material – cunningly titled EP1 – has been announced, containing four tracks; INDIE CINDY, ANOTHER TOE, WHAT GOES BOOM and ANDRO QUEEN. A video for INDIE CINDY has also been issued (view below).
Pixies’ surprise release is immediately available here, the formats being lossless download (costing £4) or highly collectible 10″ vinyl, limited to only 5,000 copies worldwide (priced £14 and also including the download). A deluxe bundle version comprising download, vinyl and a t-shirt – featuring long-time artwork collaborator Vaughn Oliver’s striking sketches for INDIE CINDY – is priced £32, with a standard bundle of download and t-shirt available for £22.
In June came the news that founder member Kim Deal had left the band – presumably to concentrate on activities as leader of The Breeders, who recently toured for the 20th anniversary of album THE LAST SPLASH – and has been replaced by Kim Shattuk (The Muffs) for gigs and Simon ‘Ding’ Archer (The Fall, PJ Harvey) on recordings. Shortly afterwards standalone new Pixies track BAGBOY and two accompanying videos were issued. Additionally, a Kickstarter campaign to fund lavish photo book A VISUAL HISTORY was launched here.
Back in 2004 Francis, bassist Deal, drummer David Lovering and guitarist Joey Santiago managed to put the recriminations of Pixies’ 1992 split behind them and tour together, almost incidentally releasing two new tracks: the chart-topping iTunes single BAM THWOK and a cover of Warren Zevon’s AIN’T THAT PRETTY AT ALL. In the years since, the band have continued to perform, making several festival appearances and successfully taking lauded second album DOOLITTLE (1989) across Europe, America and Australia / New Zealand through most of 2009/10 and 2011 – but the notion of a band as influential and consistently vital as Pixies slipping into twilight-days ‘heritage act’ mode was an uncomfortable one. The possibility of recording a new album has been mooted on several occasions, though Francis veered wildly between claiming it as “unlikely” or to be “a possibility”. EP1 seems to signal the latter.
Pixies tour Europe in September, October and November. Dates and ticket links here.