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'Young Adult Friction' by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

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The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: Pop Nostalgia

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: Pop Nostalgia

'Young Adult Friction' by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

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Fans of '80s-era U.K. indie music ought to find much to appreciate in The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: The band's songs find a comfortable middle ground between the nostalgic past and twee pop present, blurring the boundaries with subtle confidence. In one of 2009's catchiest songs, "Young Adult Friction," an insistent bass line trades off against the sweet chiming of electric guitars, smothered with hazy noise that's as fluffy as cotton candy. The Brooklyn band's name comes from an unpublished children's story; fittingly, its bittersweet lyrics seem torn from the pages of a teenager's diary.

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Young Adult Friction"
  • Artist: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • CD: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Genre: Pop

In "Young Adult Friction," The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's bittersweet lyrics seem torn from the pages of a teenager's diary. Pavla Kopecna hide caption

toggle caption Pavla Kopecna

In "Young Adult Friction," The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's bittersweet lyrics seem torn from the pages of a teenager's diary.

Pavla Kopecna

"In your worn sweatshirt / and your mother's old skirt / it's enough to turn my studies down," Kip Berman sings in "Young Adult Friction." Meanwhile, keyboardist Peggy Wang East plays shimmering chords on a synthesizer and counters with her own sweet lines. Berman and Wang have been blessed with voices that brim over with yearning, so by the time they're singing in unison — "Don't check me out / Don't check me out" — listeners are swooning right and left.

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