Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Indie Cindy” by Pixies from the 2013 self released EP-1.
For one of the most undeniably influential acts to emerge in the 1980s, what’s left to say about Pixies? Across four albums (and a mini LP), the Boston quartet of Black Francis, Kim Deal, Dave Lovering, and Joey Santiago left an impression on indie rock that can be felt in any band who have embraced, among other things, off-kilter pop melodies, highly evocative and surrealist imagery, surf-via-punk textures, or the revered loud-quiet-loud dynamic owe some degree of gratitude to the group, whose legacy only grew after their initial seven-year run ended in 1993. A decade later, the group reunited as a touring entity, but despite existing longer in their second act than their first, Pixies had only produced one new song, 2004’s “Bam Thwok”. However, in June 2013, unexpected news of Deal’s departure (and subsequent replacement by Kim Shattuck) was followed by even more unexpected news: Francis, Lovering, and Santiago had quietly recorded new music to be released sporadically through their website across the next year. Whatever anyone thought a Pixies song written in 2013 would sound like, “Indie Cindy”, a track from the first of multiple EPs to be released across next year, probably doesn’t fit that bill. There’s some mythical imagery, but it’s hidden in some profane longing for a girl, who may or may not be a personification of the press that exalted, and subsequently betrayed, the band. It’s a mellow track, but it’s no less uneasy than “Crackity Jones”. Most startlingly, the song’s opts for a middling volume all the way through. Nearly a decade after reuniting, and a few years after seemingly closing the book on their recorded legacy, the Pixies are still messing with the ideas that they brought to the forefront of alternative rock 25 years ago, but this time, they’re playing in a field that they helped create.
Pixies embark on a North American tour at the beginning of next year, and will stop in Seattle at the Paramount Theatre on Tuesday, February 18, with Best Coast opening. Get tickets and info for that all-ages show here, keep up with the band on their website and Facebook page, and watch the video for the EP1 track “Andro Queen” below.