For the last decade, fans have anxiously waited to see whether the reunited Pixies would release any new music. Of course, they already did that in 2004 with the delightfully underrated one-off single "Bam Thwok" (and they also released a cover of Warren Zevon's classic "Ain't That Pretty At All")—but the mute reaction to both songs and the lack of any other new material as each year and new tour passed seemed a sign unto itself. Last week, Kim Deal left the band, seemingly ending the whole reunion thing once and for all. So of course the Pixies would pick now to release a brand new track, "Bagboy," out of nowhere. And of course it would be really weird and all about halitosis.
Well, it's really an odd song. That chanted refrain does not go down easy on first listen. But that screeching guitar, echoy drums, and the vocal yelps bring a pavlovian sense of joy. And oh, once it hits that joyous Deal-led chorus, everything feels right—wait, that's not Kim Deal? Seriously? According to Black Francis, it's not: “I agree, it does sound a bit like Kim. But it’s my good friend Jeremy Dubs, one of the best people I’ve had the pleasure to know, both socially and professionally.”
No, Francis, it sounds EXACTLY like Kim—but now you're telling us it was this dude singing and playing bass? Is this even really a Pixies track now? At least this makes the whole Deal-leaves-the-band, band-releases-first-new-song-in-9 years thing make a lot more sense. Considering how much the chorus sounds like Deal, we wonder whether they had to replace her vocals to release it—maybe releasing this song/new music was what led her to leave the band last week.
Here's what Black Francis wrote in a press release about the tune:
The lyrics, coincidentally, were composed at a Starbucks Coffee in Harvard Square in Cambridge, about a hundred feet from where, 25 years ago, I composed some of the lyrics to an old Pixies song called ‘Break My Body.’ Twenty-five years later, some Starbucks in Harvard Square…I thought that was kind of interesting. The music for the song has been around for a few years. There are some demos I made with Joey and David a few years ago in Los Angeles, related to a film idea that still has yet to see the light of day, although work on the music continued. So a lot of the musical idea had been kicking around for awhile. It’s pretty simple, kind of a blues-based, two-note kind of thing, really.
There have been rumors about the Pixies doing secret recording sessions for the last two years or so, but this is the first evidence that anything really happened. The track was recorded last October and produced by Gil Norton, the man behind the decks for Doolittle, Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde, among other things.
So now the question is: will there be a new album? And do fans want it if there's no Kim Deal on it? In the meantime, revisit "Bam Thwok," and some real Kim Deal vocals, below.
Update: Well, we guess you don't have to stress yourself out about new Pixies music—the band's publicist tells Consequence of Sound that there's no new album on the horizon.