Long-awaited albums are not an uncommon phenomenon in modern music, with various examples that could be cited.
That would include something like Katastrophy Wife’s elusive third album, which was originally rumoured for release in 2007 and has yet to materialise.
But the 23 years since Trompe le Monde surely makes the new album from The Pixies some kind of record in that department (no pun). I mean never mind Guns N’ Roses and Chinese Democracy – 23 years is an insane time gap between albums.
At the end of April, the iconic alternative-rock pioneers release Indie Cindy, their follow-up to 1991’s hugely acclaimed Trompe le Monde album. Pixies fans must feel like Christmas is coming.
Indie Cindy is the fifth album by the groundbreaking eighties indie band and is released on April 28th in Europe and the UK, and on the 29th in the US, being put out on the band’s own independent label Pixiesmusic.
Produced by long-time Pixies producer Gil Norton, the 12-track album, although featuring new material, also consists of songs that have appeared on the band’s last few EPs, which has drawn some criticism from fans who would prefer an album of entirely new material.
This also marks the first album since the departure of Kim Deal in June last year. “Despite her decision to move on, we will always consider her a member of the Pixies and her place will always be here for her…” the band said last year, via Pitchfork.
It’s hard not to be intrigued by the prospect of a new Pixies album, even if some of it is material fans have already heard.
I personally haven’t heard any of it yet, so it’ll all be new to me. Of course, Frank Black, Kim Deal, and the others in the Pixies family have been musically active in that time, including some highly significant works (The Breeders recently finished a lengthy tour in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Last Splash, which was so successful that Deal is apparently working on music for an all-new Breeders record); but even so, 23 years is a hell of a long time for a band of the Pixies caliber and reputation not to have released an album.
Just think about everything that’s happened in music between 1991 and now; Nirvana, the whole grunge scene, the alternative music scene of the nineties, the Internet, mp3s and i-Tunes, and so much else.
And yet in all that time, the Pixies, rather than being forgotten about or drifting into cultural obscurity, have actually grown in popularity and ‘stature’, taking on many, many new fans, many of whom weren’t born yet when the previous album was released.
That means that, for a lot of fans, this is the first Pixies album to be released in their lifetimes!
Due in part, in fact, to some of the intervening events in alternative rock, particularly around Kurt Cobain and his lionisation of the band, the Pixies have acquired a layer of additional mythic quality in these two decades, even more so than they already had around them from the Surfa Rosa days.
To give it context, I was eleven when Trompe le Monde was released; I’m now 33. But there’s barely a month where songs like Where Is My Mind, Debaser and Distance Equals Rate Times Time aren’t on my playlist.
You have to wonder how big the Pixies would be if they had kept recording and releasing material through the mid-90s. I mean, they’re big anyway – without having done that. But you have to imagine they would’ve capitalised massively – commercially speaking – had they been putting out material during those same years that bands like REM, Nirvana, Soundgarden, etc, were enjoying huge breakthrough success in the mainstream.
The fact that they weren’t and yet they’re still so iconic and have so loyal a fanbase really says something.
A new Pixies record is a big deal. But you do kind of wonder whether it’s going to be as good as the old stuff. Again, 23 years is a very long time.
On April 19th, a week before the official release date and exclusively for Record Store Day, Indie Cindy was made available as a special limited-edition, two-disc, deluxe gatefold, 180-gram vinyl set.
The Pixies are also touring the record too this year, including UK dates in June and an appearance at Glastonbury. I can’t wait.