By Laura Ferreiro
It's a bittersweet day for Pixies fans around the world. The band just released their first music in nearly a decade, which is cause for celebration indeed.
The bad news is, original bassist and backing vocalist Kim Deal recently announced her departure from the iconic alternative rock band, and the new tune, "Bagboy," doesn't feature her in the lineup.
The band's publicist confirmed that the song's backing vocals were sung by guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering, and that Jeremy Dubs plays bass on the track.
Despite Deal's absence, it's a strong song that harkens back to the band's glory days in the late '80s, replete with frontman Black Francis' trademark surrealist lyrics and Santiago's screeching guitars. Francis speak-sings most of the lyrics, chanting variations on "Cover your breath/polish your speech!" during the nearly 5-minute-long tune.
"Bagboy" was written in 2012 by Francis while he was at a Starbucks in Cambridge. It was produced by their longtime producer Gil Norton, who worked on such landmark Pixies tunes as "Here Comes Your Man" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven." The art for the track was created by Vaughan Oliver, who created the art for countless Pixies albums.
Here's what Francis had to say about the song: "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 [Santiago] and David [Lovering] 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."
"Bagboy" was released under the cover of darkness in the wee hours of Friday morning, and is the first original Pixies track since the band released "Bam Thwok" in 2004. Here's hoping they have a few new tunes stashed under their mattress!
"Bagboy" can be downloaded for free here, and there's also a video: