Pixx – Small Mercies

Hannah Rodgers, under the enchanting moniker Pixx, returns with her sophomore album, a multifaceted dissection of the chauvinist body politic

Album Review by Bethany Davison | 05 Jun 2019
  • Pixx – Small Mercies
Album title: Small Mercies
Artist: Pixx
Label: 4AD
Release date: 7 Jun

Small Mercies sees Pixx, aka Hannah Rodgers, deliver an illustrious decimation of toxic masculinity in three acts. As she dances between her idiosyncratic nouveau pop-punk torments and bubblegum pop-esque arcade synth samples, we are left in a downward spiral of melancholia that grasps physically.

A crooning lament on gender-politics, Small Mercies is birthed into vibrancy with album opener Andean Condor. Through its critically catchy hook – 'Mature males tend to be at the top of the pecking order / It's stale to test it cos you want to' – Rodgers sets the pace of the record as a conscious attack on misogynistic behaviour. Though perhaps more on the backburner, this finds Rodgers beginning to undermine the vibrant theme of misogyny in pop music, as she implicitly alludes to Justin Timberlake’s 2002 hit Rock Your Body in her oblique taunts of 'Dance for me boy / Give me a twirl'. From the offset, it's more than apparent that the record sits as a multifaceted dissection of the chauvinist body politic.

Bitch, the record’s second single, embodies the encompassing mood of Small Mercies in that it is a tumbling journey of cutting lyrics and ethereal lilts to the effect of a spiralling soundscape that can be felt through the entire body. The record’s title track followed by Peanuts Grow Underground trouble each other in their composite conflicts: a quaint introduction to Rodgers’ elaborately complex musical talent, as Small Mercies subverts arcade-like music into speedy punk angst, while the latter seems to teeter almost on the grasp of funk.

With Dirt interlude pt. 1 and pt. 2, Rodgers structures the record to complement her narrative – leaving us with these three acts against misogyny, and again evidence of the sheer intricacies of talent that dance through the record.

Listen to: Andean Condor, Small Mercies