I was first made aware of Pixies in 1990, as a 15 year old I was just tipping my toes into alternative rock, I picked up both 1998’s Surfer Rosa and 1989’s Doolittle albums around the same time and instantly fell for their sound.
There are not many bands that can justifiably claim to have changed the sound of music. Pixies are one. Like so many others I was elated to hear that not only are they returning to the UK to play a string of dates, the tour also coincides with the release of their new album, Beneath The Eyrie.
Pixies have been acclaimed as the most influential, pioneering band of the late 80s alt/rock movement, having blazed the trail for artists from Nirvana to Radiohead to Pearl Jam, today, a whole new generation of music fans is discovering the band’s iconic loudquietloud signature sound. After five genre-defining studio albums — including the now-Platinum-certified Doolittle — Pixies disbanded in 1993.
They launched a reunion tour in April 2004, playing to sell-out crowds across the globe for 15 years, a far longer period of time than they were a band originally. But writing, recording and releasing new music was something that the band had been wanting to do for a long time, so they secretly booked studio time in Wales for the fall of 2012.
Six days into the recording, founding bassist Kim Deal decided to leave the band; Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering made the decision to carry on, finishing and releasing the band’s first studio album in more than two decades, 2014’s Indie Cindy. Also wanting to play live, the three began working with a number of touring bassists, including former A Perfect Circle bassist, Paz Lenchantin who came out on the road with the band in 2014. The band welcomed her as a permanent bassist in 2016.
Also in 2016, Pixies released its second post-reunion studio album, Head Carrier which was also Lenchantin’s recording debut with the band. As the UK’s DIY put it, “They’re back. They’re still brilliant. God save the Pixies.”
December 2018 saw the band holed up at Dreamland Studios near Woodstock, NY with producer Tom Dalgety where they recorded their second album as a unit, Beneath the Eyrie
With a release date set for Friday September 13, 2019, their new album has been described as visceral, musically cinematic, otherworldly but strangely familiar and a bit unsettling. Boasting 12 new songs, the album will be released globally via the bands new record label, Infectious/BMG.
You can listen to the album’s Debut Single, On Graveyard Hill here:
Beneath the Eyrie, produced by GRAMMY-nominated Tom Dalgety (Ghost, Royal Blood, Pixies’ Head Carrier), was written over the course of 2018 and recorded last December at Dreamland Recordings near Woodstock, NY. While taking a break outside the studio – originally St. John’s Church built in 1896 – Lovering spotted an eagles nest – or eyrie – right above the studio in a tree, the album’s title was born.
For the recording of the album, Pixies opted to shine a bright – and rare – light on the process, to document every moment of what took place in the studio for a 12-episode podcast titled “It’s a Pixies Podcast.” The podcast welcomes fans to witness the evolution of the album’s tracks, from their earliest stages to completion, in the studio’s control room, the main room, and in a special “audio booth” where the band members offered their thoughts and observations throughout recording.
Produced by Pixies and hosted and narrated by New York Times best-selling author Tony Fletcher, “It’s a Pixies Podcast” debuts June 27 and will be available globally on Apple, Spotify, Acast, Stitcher, Google, and other podcast platforms.
Pixies will support ‘Beneath the Eyrie‘ with an extensive 2019- 2020 world tour that kicks off Saturday, August 31st at the Daydream Festival in Pasadena, CA. This will mark the first time the band has shared a stage with the festival’s curators The Cure in 30 years, the first time being in 1989 at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium.
I will be shooting and reviewing the show for Rockshot Mag at Leeds, O2 Academy on Tuesday 17th September, this will be their first European tour in two years so keep an eye out for the full review along with a photo gallery of all the action as it enfolds.