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 song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Simple and Sure” by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart from the 2014 album Days of Abandon on Yebo.
There’s no doubt The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a love affair with the U.K. Over the course of three albums, the Brooklyn band, led by Kip Berman, has channeled Scottish twee-pop, early British shoegaze, jangly C86 and Sarah Records artists, and 80’s New Wave. And as with all love affairs, though, there have been some ups and downs, from the sweet harmonies of their self-titled debut to the loud distortion of their second LP, Belong. This current third stage, culminating in an album released earlier this month, seems to be one of bliss. Like its title, Days of Abandon feels like a cathartic release, as if casting aside whatever heavy baggage the band picked up along the way and opting for a cleaner, brighter sound. In fact, the title of today’s featured song, “Simple and Sure”, might as well be the album’s manifesto. As the song itself opens like a lost theme to John Hughes film, with its tight power chords that give way to swirling keys surrounding Berman’s airy voice, you realize what The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have remembered do what they’ve always done best: craft sweet billets-doux to the bands who’ve inspired them while keeping it wistful and light.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart recently finished a North American tour that took them through Seattle at the beginning of this month. They’re off to Europe now to promote the new album through August. But you’ll know as soon as they’re back if you keeping checking their website and Facebook page. For now, here’s the official video for “Simple and Sure”: