While I haven’t been sold on Pixy’s title tracks thus far, last year’s b-side turned English-language single Bewitched hinted at a more beguiling sound. By dabbling in dynamic electronic textures, Pixy found a niche worth exploring further. So, when teasers suggested new single Villain might build on this momentum, my interested was piqued.
Opening with the tagline “Pixy has been reborn,” Villain is clearly designed as a new stage in the group’s career. With this in mind, the song succeeds in giving them a not-too-drastic makeover. Its best moments are quite strong, but I wish the producers tightened up the structure just a bit. The opening verse is a great example of this. The melody has a fun looping quality — hypnotic like an incantation. But before we reach the prickly chorus, the song plunges into a needless moment of inertia. The momentum slows to a crawl as we wade in instrumental murk for a few bars. This is disorienting in an unsatisfying way.
Luckily, Villain rights itself during its chorus and never looks back. From here, the track finds an addictive electro groove, creeping along with glee. The hook has a glitchy appeal, unsettled but super focused in its melodic intention. The second verse is even stronger, bringing a heavy dose of funk that keeps the energy high. And rather than sink back into that murky interlude we heard after verse one, the production remains brisk. This proves a much better set-up for chorus two. Villain climaxes in a chanted version of its central melody, bringing this musical rebirth to a fun conclusion.