The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - EP by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart on Apple Music

5 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

For many, a single called “Kurt Cobain’s Cardigan,” was the first peep heard from New York’s The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (the name of which comes from a friend’s unpublished children’s book); further exploration shows a band clearly in command of its influences. This, its first EP, is a collection of tunes celebrating the joy of jangly, noise-pop outfits like the Vaselines and the Shop Assistants, but the group wisely reaches back even further: the seminal Television Personalities are inarguably a force here. Clanging, echo-drenched percussion and guitars, wiry production, and Kip Berman’s uncanny resemblance to the TVP’s Dan Treacy (sometimes askew, pleading vocals you just want to hug) belie the influence of that early British punk band. Not a bad way to start. On tracks like “Hey Paul” and “The Pains of Being Pure At Heart,” there are hooky melodies, with underlying sheets of fuzzy guitars pushing the needle ever so slightly into the red. “This Love is F*****g Right!” would be a radio staple in an alternate universe, its cascading guitar notes at the end evoking the days of carefree, AM radio pop music. Beauty.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For many, a single called “Kurt Cobain’s Cardigan,” was the first peep heard from New York’s The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (the name of which comes from a friend’s unpublished children’s book); further exploration shows a band clearly in command of its influences. This, its first EP, is a collection of tunes celebrating the joy of jangly, noise-pop outfits like the Vaselines and the Shop Assistants, but the group wisely reaches back even further: the seminal Television Personalities are inarguably a force here. Clanging, echo-drenched percussion and guitars, wiry production, and Kip Berman’s uncanny resemblance to the TVP’s Dan Treacy (sometimes askew, pleading vocals you just want to hug) belie the influence of that early British punk band. Not a bad way to start. On tracks like “Hey Paul” and “The Pains of Being Pure At Heart,” there are hooky melodies, with underlying sheets of fuzzy guitars pushing the needle ever so slightly into the red. “This Love is F*****g Right!” would be a radio staple in an alternate universe, its cascading guitar notes at the end evoking the days of carefree, AM radio pop music. Beauty.

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About The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

With their wall-of-fuzz guitar stylings and sugary pop underpinnings, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart nodded to any number of old-school indie pop and shoegaze acts, most notably Black Tambourine and My Bloody Valentine. New York-based musicians Alex Naidus (bass), Kip Berman (guitar/vocals), Kurt Feldman (drums), and Peggy Wang (keyboards/vocals) came together to form the Pains of Being Pure at Heart in 2007. The band recorded a few tracks soon after forming, which were released as a self-titled 3" CD-R on Cloudberry Records. A self-titled EP followed soon after for Painbow. In 2008, the band released a number of limited-edition split singles on Atomic Beat Records and Slumberland. Their first album, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, was released in February of 2009 on Slumberland, and the good reviews and positive press (including a spot on Late Night with Carson Daly) made them one of the most talked-about bands of early 2009. After the release of the summer 2010 single Say No to Love, legendary producers Flood (Smashing Pumpkins) and Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine) were hired to give the band a slicker, more powerful sound. The resulting album, Belong, was released by Slumberland in March of 2011. After touring their second album, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart returned to the U.S. and Berman began writing new material for their third album. With the departure of original keyboardist Peggy Wang and bassist Alex Naidus, Berman brought together a refreshed line-up -- which featured A Sunny Day in Glasgow's Jen Goma and brass player Kelly Pratt alongside Feldman -- to record the album with Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Rós). The resulting Days of Abandon was produced by by Andy Savours and released in 2014 by Yebo Music.

The band's next album was produced by Savours again and featured Berman handling most of the music himself, though Goma contributed vocals on many songs and touring bassist Jacob Danish Sloan helped out too. The sound of the album was heavily influenced by '80s new wave and pop, while the lyrics largely dealt with Berman's impending fatherhood. The Echo of Pleasure was released by Painbow Records in September of 2017. ~ Margaret Reges

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