With their wall-of-fuzz guitar stylings and sugary pop underpinnings, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart nodded to any number of old-school indie pop and shoegaze acts, most notably Black Tambourine and My Bloody Valentine.
New York-based musicians Alex Naidus (bass), Kip Berman (guitar/vocals), Kurt Feldman (drums), and Peggy Wang (keyboards/vocals) came together to form the Pains of Being Pure at Heart in 2007. The band recorded a few tracks soon after forming, which were released as a self-titled 3" CD-R on Cloudberry Records. A self-titled EP followed soon after for Painbow. In 2008, the band released a number of limited-edition split singles on Atomic Beat Records and Slumberland. Their first album, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, was released in February of 2009 on Slumberland, and the good reviews and positive press (including a spot on Late Night with Carson Daly) made them one of the most talked-about bands of early 2009. After the release of the summer 2010 single Say No to Love, legendary producers Flood (Smashing Pumpkins) and Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine) were hired to give the band a slicker, more powerful sound. The resulting album, Belong, was released by Slumberland in March of 2011. After touring their second album, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart returned to the U.S. and Berman began writing new material for their third album. With the departure of original keyboardist Peggy Wang and bassist Alex Naidus, Berman brought together a refreshed line-up -- which featured A Sunny Day in Glasgow's Jen Goma and brass player Kelly Pratt alongside Feldman -- to record the album with Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Rós). The resulting Days of Abandon was produced by by Andy Savours and released in 2014 by Yebo Music.
The band's next album was produced by Savours again and featured Berman handling most of the music himself, though Goma contributed vocals on many songs and touring bassist Jacob Danish Sloan helped out too. The sound of the album was heavily influenced by '80s new wave and pop, while the lyrics largely dealt with Berman's impending fatherhood. The Echo of Pleasure was released by Painbow Records in September of 2017. ~ Margaret Reges, Rovi