New EP from Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Within a year of releasing their blinding debut album (sure to pop up on many an end-of-year list), Brooklyn’s The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are back with more: a full, five track EP of all-new material. Indie popsters aren’t meant to work this hard, but, in the words of songwriter and vocalist Kip Berman, “Days off are no fun!”
Recorded by the same team behind the album, with US indie legend Archie Moore (Black Tambourine, Velocity Girl) at the mixing desk, the new tracks were cut before the band’s latest tour. Besides proving that the album was no fluke – here are four sparkling nuggets of 24-carat pop dripping with the energy and heart that so many music fans have already fallen in love with – they also demonstrate that the Pains have far more in their locker than just the three-minute feel-good fuzzy pop song.
Up first, the beautiful Higher Than The Stars is dream-pop of the highest order, polished to the highest sheen with some additional mixing effort from Rob Kirwan (Editors, U2). It also contains some of Kip’s most despairing and sombre lyrics: “Shitfaced, fumbling in a dark place/Drinking in the last days/This street looks just like the next street/Bumblefuck on repeat,” it says. We’re not sure what a bumblefuck is, but the song, says Kip, is about “growing up in the suburbs, the endless days and nights given to boredom and chemical and sexual experiments that inevitably end tragically. It's about being young, falling in love with your best friend and the beautiful and terrible consequences of all that.”
Next, 103 is raucous, fuzzy and a total earworm, and the closest thing on this EP to the sonic template of the album. It’s closely followed though by the pure 80s pop of Falling Over with its biting lyrics about “Spending time with someone who broke your heart long ago, who's trying to remove your pants in the present. Realising you have no self control, it's a plea that they exercise some”. Meanwhile, closing track Twins is “About finding someone that's just like you, only to realize you can never be together. It's not about incest.” There’s also a truly inspired Saint Etienne remix of Higher Than The Stars, proving once again that these four Brooklynites have been embraced by the indie aristocracy.
To promote the EP (out 9 November), the band will return to the UK in November for a mini-tour, hitting bigger venues than ever before. From clubs to academies in one year – the pleasures of being The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.
Sat 28, London, Reverence Festival @ ICA
Mon 30, Bristol, Thekla
Tue 1, Liverpool, Academy 2
Wed 2, Newcastle, Academy 2
Thur 3, Glasgow, Stereo
Fri 4, Manchester, Academy 2
Sat 5, Birmingham, Academy 2