Pixies' Mythic Mystique

Sep 30, 2019

Pixies are truly a foundational band in the world of alternative and indie rock.  The band formed in Boston in 1986, early enough to be an influence on groups like Nirvana and Radiohead.  David Bowie was a fan, and proved it by recording a cover of "Cactus."  Pixies called it quits in 1993, allowing their myth to grow in their absence.  And they've had to live up to that myth since the group reunited in 2004.

It's fitting that primary songwriter Black Francis consistently writes lyrics that often deal with myths, magic, legends, science fiction and biblical themes.  Pixies songs are usually more about impressions and weird details than narratives.  It's an approach that continues with the new album "Beneath the Eyrie." 

The album was recorded in an old converted church in upstate New York, in a remote location rich with Gothic atmosphere.  Lead guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering remain from the original lineup.  Paz Lenchantin on bass, vocals and keyboards (plus contributing to the songwriting) is the new replacement for Kim Deal.   The band members were impressed by the large eagle's nest they found on the property.  Such a nest is called an aerie, and Pixies used a variant of that word, "eyrie," for their new record's title.