Pixies' new album Head Carrier includes 'thank-you letter' to Kim Deal

A promotional picture of the Pixies in 2016

A track on the upcoming sixth Pixies album is a “thank-you letter” to former bassist Kim Deal.

Frontman Black Francis – aka Charles Thompson – says the band’s new bass player Paz Lenchantin wrote the music for and takes the lead vocal role on All I Think About Now, but she asked him to write the lyrics for it.

The album, Head Carrier, is released on September 30, with a range of pre-order options available now.

Francis tells the BBC: “I had done a song one night, it was a quickie song that appeared and I made a demo on our iPhones with Joey Santiago. The balance of the demo was off in the sense that all you could hear was Joey’s guitar and you couldn’t hear the chord structure underneath.

“Paz misheard the chord structure and when it came time to do a rendition of the song, her understanding of the song was from a different planet so it didn’t work.

“What she had written was not for the same song.

“It was no deal and she learned the song proper but then she says, ‘But Charles, I worked on this part here. It is kind of interesting and maybe it could be the start of a new song.’ So I said, ‘Oh, absolutely Paz. But you have to sing it.’

“She said, ‘Okay but you have to write the words. You have to write about Kim Deal. Just like a little thank-you letter.’

“So that’s what we did. The song isn’t really intended for the listener to think about the characters and our band’s history or anything like that. The lyric is more open-ended so you can insert your own life into the song.”

Describing the album’s sound, Francis says Head Carrier is more similar to their classic 1989 album Doolittle than 2014 effort Indie Cindy.

He says: “I guess it has a bit of early Pixies slosh in it, a certain amount of neatness. It’s certainly not as slick as Indie Cindy or Trompe Le Monde. It’s a little bit more of a simpler landscape, more like Doolittle I suppose.”

Pixies worked with producer Tom Dalgety on Head Carrier. Dalgety has previously worked with Killing Joke and Royal Blood.

Francis adds: “He was recommended to us by our manager and we met him for dinner. Within 10 or 15 minutes of that meal I gave the manager a knowing tap on the shoulder – I approved of the young man fully.

“It was relaxing and amusing in that you knew that he was gently manipulating you to his evil design.”

Pixies have a number of tour dates still to come in 2016, with further UK dates still to be announced.

Pixies Head Carrier album art

Pixies Head Carrier album art

Pixies Head Carrier tracklist

1. Head Carrier

Pixies 2016 tour dates

Jul 14: Dublin Iveagh Gardens, Ireland
Jul 15: Carhaix Les Veilles Charrues, France
Jul 17: Dour Festival, Belgium
Jul 18: Berlin Zitadelle, Germany
Jul 20: Lyon Lez Nuits De Fourviere, France
Jul 21: Torino Flowers Festival, Italy
Nov 15: Vienna Stadthalle, Austria
Nov 16: Poznan Hala Arena, Poland
Nov 17: Prague Forum Karlin, Czech Republic
Nov 18: Montreux Auditorium Stravinski, Switzerland
Nov 20: Barcelona Sant Jordi Club, Spain
Nov 21: Porto Coliseu, Portugal
Nov 23: Paris Zenith, France
Nov 25: Antwerp Lotto, Belgium
Nov 27: Amsterdam HMH, Netherlands

Pixies bassist change brought the fun back

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.