Back on Sept. 2, the Pixies surprised their fans by self-releasing a brand new EP without warning. That four-song collection was titled “EP1,” hinting that more music was on the way. This morning, four more brand new Pixies songs arrived.
Like its predecessor, “EP2” comes from a late 2012 studio session in Wales with producer Gil Norton. Black Francis recently explained to Billboard why the band was side-stepping the traditional 12-song LP method.
“You can’t say, ‘Hey guess what’s coming? Today? Tomorrow?’ No, not today or tomorrow — next spring.’ People want whatever they’re going to get and they want it now,” he said. “This thing you have that’s 12 songs long doesn’t really have the staying power. Let’s stop trying to hold on to that format. That’s all it is — a format.”
“EP1” marked the first new music released under the Pixies name since 1991, with the exception of a one-off single to coincide with their 2004 comeback tour.
Check out the music video for “Blue-Eyed Hexe,” the first track on the new EP:
“EP2” is available exclusively through the band’s website via digital download, limited-edition vinyl, and various bundles. “EP1” was eventually made available on iTunes, though “EP2” has been kept completely in-house so far.
Stylistically, it somewhat follows the lead of “EP1,” favoring smoother power pop (see track four, “Snakes”) over the more abrasive quality that marked their late 80s glory days. However, “EP2” evokes the Pixies of old a bit more than its predecessor; “Blue-Eyed Hexe” comes out of the gates sounding like a dead ringer for their 1991 classic “U-Mass” and finds Black Francis howling like it’s 1988.
From Jan. 15 to March 1, the Pixies will tour North America extensively, with Fidlar, Cults, and Best Coast in support. Beyond that, they’ve announced scattered European and South American dates, though more are on the way.
When the Pixies hit the road, they’ll do it with their third bass player in less than a year. Paz Lenchantin, who previously played with A Perfect Circle, the Entrance Band, and Zwan, will serve as the new bassist after Muffs musician Kim Shattuck was dismissed in late Nov. Original bassist Kim Deal officially parted ways with the band in June 2013, although band members have maintained in interviews with Billboard that she would be welcomed back if she chose to return.
For a more in-depth look at the Pixies’ recent revival, check out next Friday (Jan. 11)’s issue of Billboard magazine.