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Pixx says shooting the video for “Grip” is the "hardest days’ work" she's ever done

21 September 2016, 10:10 | Written by Ed Nash

Pixx, aka Hannah Rodgers, has had a fruitful year.

Since releasing her wonderful debut EP “Fall In” last summer, she's followed it up with the dreamy “Baboo”, which was remixed by Shura, toured with Daughter and played at a host of festivals. This autumn sees her supporting Glass Animals, more live shows at a 4AD showcase in the UK and US and finishing her debut album, due for release in early 2017.

We caught up with her to talk about “Grip”, her forthcoming album and a surprise collaboration with one of her label mates.

Hi Hannah, you've had a busy year, how's it been?

Oh it’s been so much fun. I’ve been loving it. I’m just so excited now that the album’s finished. It’s going in to be mixed in the next week, so it’s very, very close to being finished, which is great.

There’s a poppier feel to some of the newer songs in your live set such as “The Girls”, and the new single “Grip” retains the conversational style of the lyrics, but is more danceable musically?

It’s quite poppy compared to the stuff that I released before. I’ve started writing music that’s a bit more upbeat, but still has a weird element to it. Performing live I realised I prefer being able to jump around a bit more, so having poppy songs is kind of fun.

What’s the story of “Grip”?

It’s about the fact that we move through time as if we’re rowing a boat and we’re facing backwards but we’re moving forwards, it’s about only being able to look into the past and not into the future. The video for it was probably the hardest days’ work I’ve ever done, I was physically exhausted. We were trying to do tricks with me and the camera where it looked as if I was floating, people were holding me up by my hands and feet. I felt like I was being stretched out, but hopefully it’ll be worth it!

We saw your third ever concert last summer and the ten songs you played that evening sounded like you had a ready to record album on your hands then. How would you describe the album now it’s finished?

It’s very diverse. Some of it’s quite poppy, some of it’s like the “Fall In” EP and even weirder and even darker. It’s definitely more up tempo than the EP, but also heavier in some ways. There’s a song called “A Big Cloud to Float Upon” that has quite a trippy, weird, psychedelic feel to it. I’ve definitely managed to explore different elements of the way I use my voice whilst we’ve been going into this album, because it’s fun to be able to do loads of different styles of singing and playing and everything.

Shura did a brilliant Space Tapes mix of “Baboo”, how did that come about?

I noticed she was following me on Instagram and my A&R at 4AD said she was really into it, so she just asked her if she fancied doing it and that was that. I think it’s really interesting when someone does a spin on whatever you’ve created; it’s a different version of the same thing and means I can now enjoy the song in two different forms.

You’ve toured a lot this year, what was the highlight?

We really enjoyed playing in Rotterdam and Poland; it's nice to play to audiences in different countries that are so engaged and into the music. We’ve just got back from Poland and we loved it, we had a great show there and a great turnout. At the Roundhouse supporting Lush was probably our favourite show as a band and obviously playing Glastonbury was crazy, Latitude was so much fun too.

4AD had legendary groups such as Cocteau Twins and Pixies in the 80s and 90s, what's it like to be part of such an iconic label?

4AD has always had a thing about weird music and I feel it’s carried a sound, because all of the bands are different but the music has a familiarity in it.

You’re playing a couple of concerts with label mates The Lemon Twigs and Methyl Ethel this month, one in London and the other in New York.

It’s very exciting. I love both bands; they’re both great and fit on the label really well. I met The Lemon Twigs ages ago when I was last in New York. I went to their house in Long Island to write with them. I went to see one of their London shows in August and they’re so funny, they’re crazy, but they’re great.

What happened to the music you wrote with them?

I think they sent me something through but because I was still in New York at the time I was so busy writing in another studio for the album. I really should try and find it or ask them to send it to me again!

Pixx plays with The Lemon Twigs and Methyl Ethel at the ICA tomorrow (22 September) "Grip" is released today.
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