The Pixies have lots going on – they rocked Coachella, are playing in Europe now, a couple of Lollapalooza shows later this summer, then head out on a North American tour in September.
And now they have brand new song – their first new one in 13 years – out on Apple’s iTunes:
- “Bam Thwok” was penned by Kim Deal and produced and recorded by the Pixies at Stagg Street Studios in Los Angeles this past March. The 2:35 “Bam Thwok,” with Deal singing lead, can be downloaded from the iTunes Music Store for 99-cents.
The music for “Bam Thwok” had its genesis in a chord progression that Deal had been toying with for a while, and the lyrics from an art book she found discarded on a city street a number of years ago while on tour. “From the handwriting, you could tell that this book must have belonged to a little kid,” Deal recounts. “This kid had written a short story, a paragraph really, about a party that took place in another universe, about people and monsters that were partying together. That’s what provided the inspiration for the lyrics.” The song is a musical romp, and features a driving beat, searing guitar, and the whimsical chorus, “Love. Bang. Crash. Wakka, wakka, Bam Thwok.” “It’s a song about loving everyone,” Deal added, “showing good will to everyone.”
The Pixies – Deal (bass, vocals,) Frank Black (vocals, guitar), Joey Santiago (guitar), David Lovering (drums) – arranged and rehearsed the song at Santiago’s home studio, which includes a 15-second carousel-esque organ solo performed and recorded many years ago by Santiago’s father-in-law while he was doing missionary work in the Philippines. “That’s a great piece of music,” added Deal, “and it fits perfectly.”
“‘Bam Thwok’ is a really good song,” said Frank Black. “Recording it was a nice way for us to break the ice after twelve years. The recording process was very relaxed and it didn’t feel like twelve years had passed.”
As the Pixies are not currently affiliated with a record label, they had the luxury of making their first new song available to fans around the globe at a low price and instantaneously, something that iTunes could easily provide. The Pixies plan to perform “Bam Thwok” at concerts on their current European and upcoming North American tour dates.
I’m not super happy about the iTunes-only deal (no pun intended – we love Kim), but I guess it’s not unreasonable. Of course, they could have just given it away and generated all kinds of good will and exposure.
The new Pixies collection Wave of Mutilation comes out at the end of June. I wonder why they didn’t stick the new song on there.