Laneway Singapore 2012 – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Photo courtesy of Chugg Entertainment

The other band I had eagerly awaited was The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, one of my favourite indiepop revivalists who I guessed would go on to draw quite a following, but never quite expected to become big enough to perform internationally, let alone Singapore. But it seems that our gig-starved days of yore are coming to an end, while the C86 sound has resurrected and found itself a wider and younger generation of fans.

Still, the Brooklyn band were very much the babies of the day’s lineup, perhaps in character with the naive innocence much associated with the genre. Their opening was nervous and shaky, and on top of that plagued with such distracting glitches that they had to stop for the technical problem to be sorted after the second song (“Say No To Love”), which they gallantly played to the end anyway. When the set eventually restarted, that unbearable crackling static was finally exorcised, but seemingly along with it all semblance of intended distortion, leaving behind Peggy Wang’s keyboards and an all-too-pristine and jangly guitar section. Stripped bare, the band sounded thin and uncharacteristically clean, even if still winsome and eager to please.

Thankfully, things ended on a high as the band fought hard to regain their confidence, urged on by an encouraging crowd. It helped too that they saved their best for the latter half of the set, playing their older and more familiar fare like “Come Saturday” and particularly “Everything with You”, which was attacked harder and more incisively than any other song on the setlist. The stars were finally crashing through, but if only that high could have come a bit earlier and lasted that little while longer. – Dan.

mp3: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Everything with You

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart puts out most of its records on Slumberland.

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