The eponymous release from New York based The Pains of Being Pure at Heart has everything you could want from a summer album. A certain been-in-the-sun-too-long hazy-headyness without the too-much-ice-cream sugariness of many indie-pop summer albums. No-No! I’m rallying for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart being trail-blazers for a new genre we shall call ‘Sandalgaze” aka Shoegaze for when it’s not raining out.
From the rip-roaring opener ‘Contender’, buy more about the album manages to be catchy without being twee, shop noise without being dreary, imagine My Bloody Valentine on a beach doo-wopping and you’re halfway there.
Whilst treading this line The Pains of Being Pure at Heart consistently avoid being schmaltzy. The track; Young Adult Friction is danceable, its lyrics of a whimsy worthy of Stuart Murdoch yet reflect on themes like first love with a sort of yearning nostalgia, again souring the sweetness. Here the oft-overdone boy/girl singing duo is slightly off-kilter and the effect is more reminiscent of early Yo La Tengo or Jesus and Mary Chain than Belle & Sebastian.
The Pains of Being Pure of Heart is definitely tinged with nods towards the 80s and early 90s,yet it is perhaps too easy to criticise the album for this. The band manage to utilise certain stylistic tropes without being too retrospective or shallow.
In fact The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is refreshing in it’s redefinition of certain preconceptions: summer isn’t all about whistling and tambourine jangling anymore and Shoegaze is reinterpreted with a sunny touch rather like enjoying a 99 flake with Kevin Shields!
The album ‘The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’ is available now and the single ‘Young Adult Friction’ is released on 18th May (Fortuna Pop!)
They play The Lexington, London on 15th May
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