The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

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The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart 2014.jpg
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart performing in 2014
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres Indie pop, noise pop, shoegazing, synthpop
Years active 2007–present
Labels Slumberland, Fortuna Pop!, PIAS, Painbow
Associated acts The Depreciation Guild, The Drums, Ice Choir, Ablebody, Fear of Men
Members Kip Berman
Past members Peggy Wang
Kurt Feldman
Alex Naidus

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are an American indie pop band from New York City, formed in 2007. The band currently centers around founding member and principal songwriter Kip Berman (vocals, guitar). Live he is joined by Christoph Hochheim (guitar), Jen Goma (keyboards, vocals), Jacob Sloan (bass), and Anton Hochheim (drums). Former members and contributors include Peggy Wang (keyboards, vocals),[1] 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.[2] Their debut self-titled full-length album was released on February 3, 2009 via Slumberland Records,[3] a personal favorite label of the band's. Their name comes from an unpublished children's story of the same title by Charles Augustus Steen III. 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".[4][5] The group's self-titled album peaked at number nine on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.[6] In 2009, they released Higher Than the Stars, their second EP.[7]

The band's second record, entitled Belong, was released in 2011. The third Pains of Being Pure at Heart album, Days of Abandon, was released in May 2014.[8] The fourth Pains of Being Pure at Heart album, The Echo of Pleasure, was released on September 1, 2017.[9]


Kip Berman, lead singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter, 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] The drummer was the roommate of Berman. After playing more shows, both in and outside of the US — including regions as distant as China with promoters Split Works[14] — the band recorded their inaugural LP.


A detailed gear diagram of Kip Berman's 2011 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart guitar rig is well-documented.[15]

Band members[edit]

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart performing in Seattle in 2009

Current members[edit]

  • Kip Berman – vocals, guitar

Touring members[edit]

  • Christoph Hochheim – guitar
  • Anton Hochheim – drums
  • Jacob Sloan – bass, vocals
  • Jen Goma – vocals, keyboard
  • Chris Schackerman – drums



Year Album details Peak chart positions
US Heat
US Indie
2009 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart 9 37
2011 Belong
  • Released: March 29, 2011
  • Label: Slumberland
92 41 18 69 167 80 109
2014 Days of Abandon
  • Released: May 13, 2014
  • Label: Yebo Music
168 32
2017 The Echo of Pleasure
  • Released: September 1, 2017
  • Label: Painbow
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.


  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart EP (Painbow, 2007)
  • Higher Than the Stars (Slumberland, 2009)
  • Acid Reflex (Play It Again Sam, 2012, Purple Vinyl)
  • "Abandonment Issue" (Yebo Music, 2014)
  • Hell (Painbow Records, 2015)


  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart/The Parallelograms, split 7" with The Parallelograms (Atomic Beat, 2008)
  • Searching for the Now Volume 4, split 7" with Summer Cats (Slumberland, 2008)
  • "Everything with You / The Pains of Being Pure at Heart" (Slumberland, 2008, Blue vinyl)
  • "Young Adult Friction / Ramona" (Slumberland, 2009, Maroon/white swirl vinyl)
  • "Come Saturday / Side Ponytail" (Slumberland, 2009, Mint green clear vinyl)
  • "Say No to Love / Lost Saint" (Slumberland U.S. + Fortuna Pop UK, June 8, 2010, Seafoam green vinyl)
  • "Heart in Your Heartbreak / The One" (Slumberland, 2010, Plumb clear vinyl)
  • "Belong / I Wanna Go All The Way" (Slumberland, 2011, Pink vinyl)
  • "The Body / Tomorrow Dies Today" (Play It Again Sam / Slumberland, July 25, 2011, Yellow/orange clear vinyl)
  • "Jeremy (Magnetic Fields Cover) / My Life Is Wrong (East River Pipe Cover)" (Slumberland, 2012, Army green vinyl)
  • "Simple and Sure / Imposible" (Slumberland, 2014, Olive Green Vinyl)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Acid Reflex (Yoshimoto R and C, 2012, Japan CD) This compilation combines the Acid Reflex EP with Higher Than The Stars remixes plus one additional remix only found on this compilation.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Dusted Reviews: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart". Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "Quit Your Day Job: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart". 10 December 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Wikipedia Files: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart on Chicago Public Radio Blog, July 21, 2009". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ Chart history,
  7. ^ "Spoonfed Interview". Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to release third album in 2014". Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  9. ^ The Pains [@thepainsofbeing] (11 June 2017). ""The Echo of Pleasure" release date is now September 1 2017. But, new single tomorrow.." (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  10. ^ "Interview: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (w/ Kip, Peggy, Alex) - Aural States". Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  11. ^ "The Agit Reader • Feature: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart". Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "The Pains of Being Pure at Heart : Interview". Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  13. ^ [3][dead link]
  14. ^ [4][dead link]/
  15. ^ Cooper, Adam (May 10, 2011). "Kip Berman's 2011 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Guitar Rig".
  16. ^ a b c "Pains of Being Pure of Heart - Billboard". Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  17. ^ "Discografie The Pains of Being Pure of Heart". (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 19, 2016. 
  18. ^ "The Pains of Being Pure of Heart albums" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique / Lescharts. Retrieved 2017-04-04. 
  19. ^ "Discography Pains of Being Pure atHeart". Retrieved 2015-12-18. 
  20. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: 2011". Retrieved March 20, 2016. 


  • Wong, Martin (2009). "Growing Pains". Giant Robot Magazine, issue 61.