Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “Stay Alive” by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart from their 2009 self-titled album via Slumberland Records.
If we could right now without the benefit of hindsight choose a genre of music most perpetuated in these early months of 2009, it would most definitely be noise-pop. Whereas months before the angular guitar attacks of bands like Wolf Parade and Foals reigned supreme, today we’re looking at musical landscaped beautifully pock marked with pop cuts drowned in the fuzzy whorls of this once again burgeoning genre. Nodzzz, Wavves, Times New Viking — the list goes on and on, and let us now add another strong contender for the newly varnished throne of noise pop: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This New York foursome has been garnering rave reviews and likely comparisons to the likes of early My Bloody Valentine and House of Love since they first released self-titled debut on Painbow in 2007. Thanks to the always savvy folk at Slumberland, this impressive distillation of the annals of noise-pop is once again available for their deprived fans. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart ably interlace a sort of guttery distortion with 90s pop that brings to mind early John Hughes films and crinkly perms. “Stay Alive” is a perfect example of this as the track opens with crystal clear vocals over an acoustic guitar stolen from The Cardigans. But as the track progresses in to the chorus, a cloud of guitar noise swells around the lyrics, enveloping the pop in a dirty fog of noise.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are currently in the midst of an East Coast tour, and they’re heading down to SXSW in March. Hopefully, we’ll see them out West later this year. Head over to their MySpace page for updates. For now, check their video for “Everything With You”: