The Pains Of Being
Pure At Heart
With influences including The Pastels, the Ramones, Black Tambourine, Teenage Fanclub, Dear Nora, Rocketship, Kurt Cobain and My Bloody Valentine The Pains Of Being Pure At Hearts dreamy music does exactly what it says on the tin. In that by simply thinking of the bands name, their twinkling sound which is coated with a retro glaze and crackles with energy will come all by itself. It could even be likened to being submerged in a tuneful, blissed-out flotation tank, suffused with calming, trebly and sweet-as-candy C86 melodies, sumptuous, soft and syrupy boy / girl vocals + sizeable scoops of warm lo-fi distorted shoegaze fuzz, all trickled with beatific jangly guitars. Shades of colour that will seduce your ears and gently creep into your consciousness. In fact, early advocates Skatterbrain proclaimed: These are perfect noisy pop songs, with gorgeous harmonies floating above the ringing guitar washes.
Calling NYC home currently a hot-bed for new musical talent the quartet formed in 2007 (initially for a one-off gig, for co-vocalist and keyboard player Peggys Birthday at a warehouse party in Brooklyn) and consists of Kip Berman (guitar / vox), Peggy Wang (keys / vox), Alex Nadius (bass) and Kurt Feldman (drums). Who after initially dropping a CDR, followed by an EP and a handful of limited edition 7s, have just put out their eponymous debut long player through Slumberland Records in the US, and Fortuna Pop! in the UK.
Glowing reviews of the album so far, have included
The record is one of those records that takes absolutely no time to fall in love with. From the opening notes of the lead track Contender, you know you are listening to something powerful, catchy and brilliant. It's not so much that they just write great pop songs, it's that they feel like they are opening their veins and bleeding on the paper each time they write lyrics and it all comes through with an eerily sunny sound... this band is the real deal. POP TARTS SUCK TOASTED
If dreamy, 80s-sounding indie pop is your thing, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have your number in a big way. Close your eyes and this local quartet will whisk you away to a magical land of Smiths posters and John Hughes montages. TIME OUT NEW YORKLike riding your bicycle to your friends house after you've finished your homework. THE FADER
Very few bands manage to transport their wild spirit and the legacy of their trailblazing heroes into something this special. FIRE ESCAPE TALKING
Their very name sounds like a manifesto, a statement of intent, a pledge to be true to the idea of being, well, true, honest and untarnished by adult concerns. THE GUARDIAN
Echoing this sentiment, is Kips own idealised take on the sincerity of the groups lexicon and stylised revisionism, which they now have down to a T: Our music is filled with feeling, both positive and dark. Massive love, nuclear heartbreak, feeling so alone in nowhere towns, romantic friendship, wasted summers, rebellion, nothing to do, doing it all the time. I guess were perpetual teenagers. Similarly, the story behind their name, is that its taken from an unpublished short story called The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, which was written by one of Kips friends. Although it was never published, its sentiment and message that being young and having your friends around you are the most important things in your life is a concept we see with the band and bands that are comprised of friends just sound better! Kip has mused.
Having supported The Wedding Present in the UK (also meeting many of their other musical heroes whilst over here), the group could even be thought of as Anglophiles with a misty-eyed nostalgia, as of their trip, Peggy enthused: I kind of felt like all my dreams were coming true. I mean, I definitely romanticise England and the bands that came out of there in The 80s. However, Kip will go to great pains to tell you how early 90s alt.rock and pop from the USA, is of equal importance to them: I think we all love bands from The 80s, but we did not grow up in that era we discovered that sound as we got older. I think it would be egotistical to say that we were keeping alive a scene we were never part of. Its just as American as it is British.
After writing to Fortuna POP!, Sean very kindly arranged for Kip and Peggy to complete a Q&A for me from across the pond. And as one of The Big Apples latest and greatest exports, dont be surprised if The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and their tidal wave of sonic fizz bombs, soon become the apple of your eye
1.Youre probably aware that in the UK, a lot of bands have
formed by meeting through the NMEs Classified Ads
pages. But if The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were just starting out
and seeking an additional musician or even gigs how would
you describe yourselves and your sound to really grab a readers
A very special thanks to Kip + Peggy, and to Sean @ Fortuna Pop! for all of their time and help.