Pixies' have created a captivating soundtrack for the colder months ahead.
Pioneers of 90s alternative rock Pixies are back with their seventh studio album, Beneath the Eyrie, to be released on September 13th. This is their third album following their decade-long hiatus, and despite their change of line up, fans are every bit as excited to hear from the band as they were in the early 90s. Beneath the Eyrie was written in a converted church deep in the woods, a spooky vibe that becomes a strong presence throughout the new record.
The album gets off to a good start with ‘In The Arms of Mrs. Mark Of Cain’. The opening guitars have a classic post punk sound and complement lead vocalist Black Francis’ vocals perfectly. This song strongly establishes the dark sound and themes of the album, and gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the rest of the record. What also stands out in this track are the backing vocals of Paz Lenchantin, who has been Pixies’ bassist since 2014, which add a nice dimension to the vocals.
The first single that was released from the album is ‘On Graveyard Hill’, and it’s one of my favourites. It perfectly represents the creepy themes that listeners were promised on Beneath The Eyrie – decadent stories of witchcraft and graveyards, singing “On the graveyard hill, she’s calling out her curse / I’m taking my last breath with each chapter and each verse” – perfect for when the nights get longer. If you like songs on the more surreal and supernatural side, ‘On Graveyard Hill’ is likely to be added to your playlists in the near future.
One of the most compelling songs on the record is ‘This Is My Fate’, for similar reasons. The bass line is addictive and the unique vocal style is something I could listen to for hours. Lyrically, the religious imagery and mystical energy continue beautifully in this track. There are, of course, tracks that don’t grab my attention in the same way, like ‘Ready For Love’, which stands out as being lyrically different from the other tracks on the album.
Halfway through Beneath The Eyrie we start to get a change in tone. In terms of sound, it changes from post-punk to a more 90s alternative vibe, which is most obvious in ‘Los Surfers Muertos’. But before the end of the album, we return to the surreal wonder that we heard so prominently at the start – ‘Bird Of Prey’ is similar to ‘This Is My Fate’ – short, sweet, and totally captivating.
The best way I can sum up Pixies’ Beneath The Eyrie is to say that I can’t wait to listen to it again. Musically and lyrically, it is a completely enchanting records, and after so many summer albums it’s refreshing to hear an alternative soundtrack for the colder days.
Pixies’ Beneath The Eyrie will be out 13 September via BMG/Infectious.