Welcome to the War on Pop's weekly Tuesday column, "On the Verge", which highlights artists and bands that have received some attention and/or critical acclaim, but that are still not considered a big time act. Musicians of this caliber would most likely be have been found by major indie music critics, such as Pitchfork or Stereogum, but are not exactly ready to go be a headliner or second bill at a major festival.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart can be described in a nutshell as pure pop bliss. Their innocent, noised-laced indie-rock combines a shoegaze sound topped with undeniably catchy riffs. The New York-based quartet, consisting of members Kip Berman (Guitar and Vocals), Peggy Wang-East (Vocals and Keyboards), Alex Naidus (Bass), and Kurt Feldman (Drums), originated in 2007. Earning a notable following since their formation, the band released their eponymous debut full-length release in early 2009. The album received a significant amount of acclaim, earning the band a spot at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival.
The band ascended within indie-rock circles during this year due the release of their full length debut The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. With this effort, the group arguably justified the large buzz which they had received. "Come Saturday" constantly bombards listeners with a noise-layered pop surrounded by a hazy warmth. The band's talent as pop architects surfaces on "Young Adult Friction," where their synthesizers and vocals fill the track with a bouncy, upbeat melody and rhythm. On this album, however, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart are at their nostalgic best with the track "Everything With You" which demonstrates their beautiful simplicity, combining shoegaze and indie-pop with relative ease in their carefree expression of longing and desire.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will release their Higher Than the Stars EP today--their first release of any kind since their timeless classic debut earlier this year. The EP's title track lives up to the quartet's previous body of work, and hopefully the remainder of the EP continues the consistency that they have displayed thus far throughout their short career.
Check out the following songs: "Come Saturday", "Young Adult Friction", Everything With You", "Higher Than the Stars".