The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are an American indie pop band from New York City, formed in 2007. The band currently consists of core member Kip Berman (vocals, guitar), Christoph Hochheim (guitar), Jessica Weiss (keyboards, vocals), Jacob Sloan (bass) and Anton Hochheim (drums). Former members and contributors include Peggy Wang (keyboards, vocals),Connor Hanwick, Kurt Feldman and Alex Naidus.
Their first album was a self-released EP, released in 2007. The release was distributed by Painbow - a record label created by the band. Their debut self-titled full-length album was released on February 3, 2009 via Slumberland Records, a personal favorite label of the band's. Their name comes from an unpublished children's story of the same title. A friend of Kip Berman wrote the story, which revolves around "realising what matters most in life - things like friendship and having a good time". The group's self-titled album peaked at number nine on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. In 2009, they released Higher Than the Stars, their second EP. The band's second record, entitled Belong, was released in 2011.
In a December 2013 interview the band revealed they were in London putting the finishing touches on their new album, Days of Abandon, which was released in May 2014.
Kip Berman, lead singer and guitarist, grew up in Philadelphia, but moved to Portland, Oregon where he lived for several years. Berman played in numerous bands during that time. After finishing his college degree at Reed College, he moved to New York City. When working a job, he met Alex Naidus. The two bonded over their adoration for music, and their similar upbringing. Bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, The Field Mice, Black Tambourine, and Nirvana helped to establish the two as friends. Soon after, the trio played at the birthday party of friend and bandmate Peggy Wang. According to the musicians, they played "five songs in ten minutes, and the song names were longer than the songs". Using a backing track as a drummer, half of this setlist helped formulate the debut album.
In late 2007, The Pains started a MySpace page to showcase their songs. Berman noted, that at the time, the band name was all the group had. Despite this, the trio worked on numerous tracks. Songs such as "Contender", "Come Saturday", and "This Love Is Fucking Right!" would stay band favorites, winding up on the 2009 album The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Other tracks, such as "Orchard of My Eye", would be released on their first EP. It was at the time of their MySpace uploads that attention was being drawn to the act. Prominent music websites, such as Pitchfork and Stereogum, kept tabs on The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
After numerous shows around New York, the trio recruited Kurt Feldman. The drummer was, and still is, the flatmate of Berman. After playing more shows, both in and outside of the US--including regions as distant as China with promoters Split Works--the band recorded their inaugural LP.
Kip Berman - Vocals, guitar, keyboard,
Christoph Hochheim - guitar,
Anton Hochheim - drums,
Jacob Sloan - bass, vocals,
Jessica Weiss - keyboards, vocals,
Elspeth Vance - vocals
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