Around this time every year, there comes a list…a Top (insert figure) List. Most publications compile one, retrogressively analysing a year’s (or decade’s) worth of music; the list is often perfunctory, sometimes (with a knowing nod of “I told you so”) self-congratulating, or sometimes just fucked. Whether these lists are compiled for entry into some kind of culture-critical stratum, or as a shopping list, they eventually become a passage of nostalgia. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have been no strangers to 2009’s end-of-year lists. This year they have packed shows with sweaty scenesters and released their debut, with its fuzzy-dream guitars, dumb-struck love and sweet-melancholy pop songs, on the outstanding Slumberland. The slight echoes of The Shop Assistants and Galaxie 500 might come closer to suggest their own nostalgic trip, but the record isn’t so detached to be revivalist, just as its never overwhelmed by its own melancholy.
In keeping with Slumberland’s ethos of “keeping it foolish since 1989”, I dugout a few copies of late eighties and early nineties NMEs, which got Kip talking about list-making and his love for shimmering slices of mid-nineties glorious British pop --like Rialto and Gay Dad.
Posted at 20:59, 28th December 2009