Hey Millennials! Wanna feel old? This album came out almost exactly a decade ago!
And in fact, 2009 just might have been the last year when indie musicians still strived to create jangly guitar power pop that balanced the roar of the guitars with twee vocals and candy-coated melodies. And so the debut album of New York’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart was so filled with so many catchy songs about being young and horny that it didn’t even matter that the name of the band was “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.”
And yet: they sounded exactly like their band name, so who am I to make fun of sincere young people? Especially a sincere young person like head Pain Kip Berman, who filled the debut with exactly the kind of songs I’ll always love — full of “oooooooooh” backing vocals, fast speeds, echoed harmonies and big guitar hooks.
So many, in fact, that it was difficult to land upon just one, though any one pretty much represents the entire album, so I went with “Come Saturday,” which has all of the above, as well as a chorus to die for (and a punningly dirty title, to boot.)
Come Saturday, you’ll come to stay
You’ll come to sway in my arms
Who cares if there’s a party somewhere
We’re gonna stay in
And come Saturday, you’ll come to say
Maybe there’s no harm
In a wasted summer with no drama
We’re gonna stay in
When keyboardist Peggy Wang-East gliding in and out of the background vocals, you totally understand why and how they’re looking forward to come Saturday, especially when Berman follows the second chorus with a guitar solo that starts off following the melody line — of course — before spinning around itself and straight back into the verse.
Sadly, none of the follow-ups reached the heights of their debut, as Berman widened the music (which I get, of course), but in doing so, seemed to lose his focus (which I also get). On the other hand, they’ll always have their beautiful, shimmering debut album.
“Come Saturday” performed live in 2009
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