heard on the wire

You complain about the mice, but you never clean your kitchen

Tappa Zukie

I like to think of the words in this blog as the equivalent of those little descriptions that you get when you buy a box of chocolates. They may tease, listing fillings and flavours; they may warn—beware of the praline; but they can only hint at the joys that lie beneath the surface of each morsel.

Life, you see, is a carefully curated blog post.

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Quotes as jokes and coke

Grace Kelly

I have to temper my expectations when a new Pains of Being Pure at Heart record is in the offing.

It’s a requirement born of experience. Back in 2011 I couldn’t have been more excited about an LP than I was about the band’s follow-up to their self-titled 2009 debut.

Because while the debut had been impressive enough, 2010 saw the band release not only the two best singles of the year, in the process scattering the dust that had settled on my fantasy desert island disc selection.

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There’s no explanation…

Simple and Sure

…but there is a new Pains of Being Pure at Heart LP, which, as regular readers will know, can only make me ridiculously excited.

It all started with this, the first single from the record, and a video that keeps on ‘giffing’.

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Even in dreams I cannot betray you

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were my 2010 choice and runner-up for song-from-each-year-of-my-life, so my expectations were beyond high as the release date of their second LP got closer and closer.

Those expectations were tempered when the band added another guitarist — hinting at a shift from pop to “serious” rock, never a good thing. That the 2011 LP, Beyond, survived the transition is a testament to the band’s sensibilities and songwriting, which spawned at least half a dozen excellent numbers to go with those two moments of genius from the previous year.

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You’ll never feel so high

So few bands that show such early promise go on to exceed all expectations. So many peak early, usually on that first LP, whose songs they painstakingly assemble, refine, reject and revamp as they seek that elusive record deal. The second LP, written to order, proves that much more difficult.

I expected that to be true of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, an american indie pop band with a sound that came straight out of the mid-80s. The band themselves denied any knowledge of their C86 predecessors and with much justification, since they hadn’t yet been born.

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