it’s finally here! well, kind of. the pains of being pure at heart have released their sophomore album for free streaming on their website, so you can listen to it as many times as you want! but you have to be on your computer. boooooo! at the very least, this might convince you few holdouts that the pains aren’t a one-trick pony. belong is a delicate and engaging work on par with their self-titled in terms of fully-realized genius. intact are their trademark twee vocals and furiously 80s riffs, this time with some more well-rounded production that smooths out the rough without completely losing the edge. but don’t take my word for it: head on over to their site to hear the entire album, as many times as you want. for a taste, below you can stream the fantastic lead single “heart in your heartbreak.” if you’re like me, christmas just came a little early today.
belong is out 3/29 on slumberland.
there wasn’t a band as divisive in 2009 as the pains of being pure at heart. either you immediately fell in love with their 80s pastiche or took one look at their name and let out a groan. i landed into the former category, hard, and spent the next two years listening to their self-titled debut on repeat while anxiously combing the wire for news on a follow-up. after releasing a pair of stellar 7″s (“say no to love” and “heart in your heartbreak,” respectively), the pains have finally announced their sophomore lp, belong. the title track is a mixture of crunchy yet swirling guitar riffs and the pains’ trademark twee vocals. it’s a heavier-sounding outing than their last; probably a result of producer flood (of smashing pumpkins) and mixer alan moulding (of my bloody valentine). but beneath the waves of distortion are still the unquenchable optimistic, summer vibes of yesteryear.
the pains of being pure at heart – belong is out march 15th on slumberland.
noah and the whale’s debut peaceful, the world lays me down was a mixed bag with spots of brilliance. favorites like “jocasta” and “5 years time” overshadowed the album’s weaker points, and showed potential for the english indie poppers. following frontman charlie fink’s painful breakup with then-bandmate laura marling, they released the drab the first days of spring. fans feared the worst; where had the joy gone? but with their newest single “l.i.f.e.g.o.e.s.o.n.” noah and the whale is back on the forefront of happy-go-lucky orchestral indie pop. it’s everything wonderful about the wes anderson-inspired band: a chanted, chirpy chorus, orchestral flourish, and maybe most of all, optimism and hope.
noah and the whale – last night on earth is out march 7th on mercury records.
the infectious lo-fi charm of dum dum girls’ i will be cemented its place as one of the better albums of 2010. given their follow-up he gets me high, an ep composed of three originals and a cover of the swooning smiths’ classic “there is a light that never goes out,” dee dee’s janglepop group proves that they stand out from the rest of the garage pop revivalists. and for those who critiqued the band’s seeming nonuse of vocal microphones, your fears can be quelled – the group’s signature vocal style, while still intact, is much better produced this time ’round. in fact, the entirety of the band’s sound has been given greater depth without sacrificing their lo-fi aesthetic. the bass hits lower, the fuzzy guitars breathe deep and the vocal harmonies are much easier to discern. just as much of the country succumbs to winter, the dum dums arrive, giving us a feverish glimpse of summer sun.
dum dum girls – he gets me high 12″ is out march 1st on sub pop.