The opening track of Pixx’s debut album begins with 21-year old Hannah Rodger telling us that “To put a name on it / Would be to nail the age of anxiety.” An over-produced song, with harsh, repetitive vocals and a hard-to-follow collusion of authentic delivery and electronic, muzzled sound. Not the most attractive introduction to an album, but fortunately after two songs this puzzling attitude disappears and Rodger’s beautiful and peculiar voice comes to the forefront – strong and emotive, shifting easily between lower ranges and high notes.
While ‘The Age of Anxiety’ seems to be a title speaking exactly to our time, it is actually taken from a 1947 poem by W.H. Auden. Similarly, contrasting my expectations, Pixx looks inward for inspiration rather than only acting as a social commentator. Most obvious of the latter category is ‘Everything is Weird in America’: “A vision built on movie-screens/ Hear me / Hear me cry out / Everything is Weird in America”. Simple and repetitive, but nonetheless interesting. Yet most poignant are those songs about personal experiences, such as ‘Grip and A Big Cloud to Float Upon’ which is about one of the first memories the artist can recall. Danceable and at times with an urgent message, The Age of Anxiety is an intriguing pop-debut.