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the pains of being pure at heart - Higher Than The Stars
The insufferably fashionable Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart follow up their seemingly universally adored debut album with a five-track helping of all-new material, led by the twee-pop magnum opus 'Higher Than The Stars' whose romping, ebullient melodicism is kept from feyness overload with strategic deployment of words such as "bumblefuck". It's a great track, tweaked to anthemic perfection by Rob Kirwan (whose previous credits include the not terribly lo-fi U2 and Editors). '103' gives the fuzz pedal a good, hard kick resulting in some more uptempo C86-inspired passages, before the altogether more slinky 'Falling Over' gives it the full Field Mice treatment. This is all very consistent thus far, and the fuzz-gazing antics of 'Twins' wraps up a seriously impressive set of new originals, but the disc is not yet done: Saint Etienne of all people weigh in with a remix of the lead track at the very end; their very presence only helps signpost TPOBPOH's place within indie-pop heritage. Highly recommended.