Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
The number of bands that create a memorable debut album but stumble thereafter are more numerous than stars in the sky. New York indie pop band Pains of Being Pure At Heart's introductory full-length in 2009 was nothing short of pure bliss. And this year they sidestepped fading into the unknown mist ― their follow-up album Belong slaughtered the sophomore slump with a loving middle finger. Produced and mixed by the same fine folks who have worked with the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins and Depeche Mode, Pains capture the uplifting pop sensibilities of those bands without becoming a nostalgic clone. The fuzzed-out guitars, inviting synth melodies and Kip Berman's soft vocals combine to create this warm feeling that can cure a broken heart, or lift a euphoric feeling even higher. From the title track that begins the album with this "us against the world" feeling that makes you believe anything is truly possible, to the closing track "Strange" that cements that same sentiment under the light of a couple in love, Belong takes the listener on a heart-wrenching ride toward hope.
FeaturesDec 04, 2014
Less Than Jake"Good Enough" on Exclaim! TV
Ska-punk mainstays Less Than Jake have been making music for over 20 years. The group shows no signs of slowing down, judging by the upbeat ...
FeaturesDec 02, 2014
AlvvaysA Long Journey to Overnight Success
It is day two of Alvvays' first-ever headlining North American tour and the band are riding several months of critical acclaim, growing audi...
FeaturesNov 27, 2014
Valery Gore"With the Future" on Exclaim! TV
Toronto songwriter Valery Gore has been recognized by many for her wonderful blend of jazz and pop music, sonic textures, and her welcome ea...
FeaturesNov 25, 2014
Single Motherson Exclaim! TV Chatroom
Saying that Single Mothers have had an interesting past would be putting things lightly. The band reportedly ran through nine different memb...