The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Higher Than the Stars EP
While the cover for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s new EP, Higher Than the Stars, boasts a black-and-white perspective on one’s environment, and the neighboring environment one seeks to move into, the emotion of the album hardly seems so definitive. It’s black-and-white, as if to act like a Rorschach for the emotionally minded. And so the songs must vary in size, shape, design, and abstract impression, leaving those that are interested to make of the music what they will. Things with this group aren’t what they seem, in the most refreshing way.
In true EP fashion the Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a disc here that is short and concise in length, but not lacking in meaning. The songs here make for a melancholy-like listening experience, laying somewhere between somber vocals and an upbeat tempo.
There’s a certain characteristic quality here that seems akin to an American version of The Smiths, and a slightly, subtly saltier version of Joy Division. Kip Berman‘s voice is acute and exact, singing at tones that seem just right with instrumental accompaniment that walks parallel to him in each song. In addition, the fact that they’ve got such a fine bead on their sound so early into their career is nothing short of impressive. There’s no ban on incorporating past influences into crafting one’s current sound. One need not subject themselves to any sense of trepidation, so long as one works at a level beyond the superficial. It’s okay to sound like a band from yesteryear if one doesn’t base their music’s selling point almost entirely on mimicking that sound. In Higher than the Stars we have an impressive display of consistency in the style and talent that have helped to bring this band on to the radar’s of money in recent years.