When the Pixies released 2014's Indie Cindy, it was their first release in the band's history to not include Bassist/Vocalist Kim Deal. It was evident, very evident that without her, it was going to be an uphill climb.
Deal's immediate replacement came in the form of Kim Shattuck, formerly of The Muffs. While a very capable musician and vocalist, it became clear pretty quick that she was only the transitional member - used mainly for a few dates. Whether she was made aware of this upon hire remains to be seen.
Enter Paz Lenchantin, formerly of Zwan and A Perfect Circle. Another very capable musical and vocalist, and while no one - NO ONE can replace Kim Deal, Lenchantin's inclusion just feels....right. This is very much evidenced on the band's latest album, Head Carrier. Check out tracks like "Um Chagga Lagga" and "Classic Masher" and tell me it doesn't sound like classic Pixies to you.
Now, there's some that may say Paz sounds like a Deal ringer, but that's dismissive, and you're a dick for even thinking it. Black Francis has such a distinctive writing style and delivery, anyone who joins him for the harmonies is going to harken back to that classic sound. This isn't a bad thing. Who the hell wants the Pixies to change a thing? They'll always be a warm, comfy blanket keeping us cozy on these long winter nights.