The email subject header was direct: “Pixies Announce New Bass Player, CD, Tour,” all of which are welcome developments. The new bass player is more of a technicality, though. Paz Lenchantin has been playing with the Pixies since her onstage debut when the band played at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton in January 2014.
Regardless, a new album means new songs, and the Pixies made first single “Um Chagga Lagga” available immediately online. It’s a 3-minute blast of jumped-up dirty boogie, and it’s also the Best New Song of the Week on WRSI-FM (93.9, the River). The tune careers along on a chaotic punk guitar riff as Black Francis alternately intones and yelps his vocals with a call-and-response from Lenchantin, who sounds like she was born to sing the part.
The song comes from “Head Carrier,” the band’s second album since reuniting in 2004, following 2014’s “Indie Cindy,” which the Pixies compiled from three EPs released in 2013. Original bassist Kim Deal was part of the reunion until she left the band in 2013. Muffs guitarist Kim Shattuck replaced Deal for the rest of 2013 before the band dismissed her and brought on Lenchantin.
“Head Carrier” is due Sept. 30, and the Pixies have booked a European tour to start in November, with the promise of U.K. dates (and, presumably, some North American shows) to follow.