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Before traveling to New York City to DJ at a show with personal hero R. Stevie Moore in 2009, the thought of creating music had never occurred to Los Angeles-born Piper Kaplan. However, while in the Big Apple, she was asked by Moore to record some lyrics that he had been working on. This kick-started a change in the vivacious blonde's psyche and, having collected vinyl records religiously since the age of 15, Kaplan returned to her home in Hollywood with the intention of starting a lo-fi indie band with younger sister Skylar. Only 13 at the time, Skylar Kaplan was already an accomplished guitarist and happily began working with her 20-year-old big sister, and the two were then joined by second guitarist Cody Porter —- also of psychedelic fuzz pop band Animal Style — to create Pearl Harbor.
Drawing inspiration from '70s pop acts such as Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan and adding the dreamy gloss of the Beach Boys, Pearl Harbor's 2009 debut EP, Something About the Chaparrals (released through Mexican Summer), featured the mesmerizing "Luv Goons." Summing up the band's early sound perfectly, "Luv Goons" bounced along with a sun-soaked guitar line and laid-back vocals, although the sense of longing that lingered behind the coolness of Piper's delivery added weight to the sound of Pearl Harbor's fledgling recordings.
Having spent the majority of 2009 playing shows in and around Los Angeles, Pearl Harbor — joined by ex-Mika Miko bassist Jessie Clavin and drummer Matt Correia live — became associated with the burgeoning female-fronted lo-fi indie scene, which included the likes of Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls, Nite Jewel, and Vivian Girls. In March 2010, the sisters Kaplan and company headed to Texas to play South by Southwest, before releasing the atmospheric Slivers of You 7" in early April on Big Love. In June, they changed their name to Puro Instinct and set off on tour with Ariel Pink.
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