Monday, January 26, 2009

Gold Sounds new music reviews: Charles Spearin and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Tim of Gold Sounds here, presenting two great new albums that are sure to cure your Merriweather Post Pavillion hangover.

Charles Spearin - The Happiness Project


Charles Spearin is a member of Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene, two bands known for their sometimes dreamy, sometimes abrasive, always epic music. Shades of both these bands exist on The Happiness Project (the second half of "Mr. Gowrie," the Kevin Drew-provided keys of "Mrs. Morris (Reprise)"), but the album's concept, music based on interviews Spearin conducted with his neighbors about happiness (with each track named after the subject), is entirely original and innovative. Each song contains music unique to the person being interviewed: Listen to the soulful horns of "Mrs. Morris" match up with the melody of her voice. Listen to the jubilant, fun music of "Vittoria," which perfectly fits the carefree nature of youth. Aside from the music, the album's worth listening to just for some of the interviews, especially the ones in "Vanessa" and "Mr. Gowrie," where the subjects describe happiness while overcoming deafness and poverty. If only all psychology experiments sounded this good.

The album will be released February 14th on Arts & Crafts records.

Read about and listen to some of the album here.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - s/t LP


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart may be from New York, but they sound like they'd be more at home in the United Kingdom. Their mix of shoegaze and twee, not to mention that album cover, brings to mind greats like The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian and My Bloody Valentine. Songs like "Young Adult Friction" and "A Teenager in Love" recall the first two respectively, with the latter even including an 'I-never-saw-it-coming' religious theme. On the other end of the spectrum, opener "Contender" is a beautiful swirl of guitar sounds and final track "Gentle Sons" is an absolute triumph, combining the best qualities of the previous nine tracks into one huge, stomping anthem. The album may recall music of the past, but The Pains of Being Pure at Heart makes use of some great musical styles and combines them into something totally their own, resulting in an impressive debut.

The album will be released February 3rd on Slumberland records.

Listen to some songs from the album here and download some mp3s from their official website.

1 comment:

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