Radical #7: The Weeknd, Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Radical Tracks, Honey.

Thurston Moore – Benediction

Jamie Woon – Lady Luck

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong

Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High

Cold Cave – The Great Pan is Dead

The Joy Formidable – Whirring

Radical Albums, Dearie.

The Weeknd – House of Balloons Mixtape

Drugs, women and depressed thoughts find a happy home with a nice ocean view.

The Weeknd literally burst onto the main music blogs and sites only a few weeks ago with its incredible song “What You Need.” About a week later they released the free “House of Balloons” mixtape that made the mysterious musicians blow up on all of sites, gaining universal praise for it’s unique sound in a world of 90’s throwback-lo fi / laptop electro pop.This definitely isn’t that. This is some extremely well-crafted pop music.

I gotta say when I first heard “What You Need”, I was not impressed. Maybe it was the mood I was in that day; I was a bit judgmental. But for some reason when I came back to it, it hit some sort of chord in my brain that set off an avalanche of neurotransmitters – a dopamine rush. I immediately downloaded the mixtape and began my journey through the nocturnal landscape of the House of Balloons. The reason I say nocturnal is because none of the music has a bit of daylight energy around it. It’s all dark, moody music. The vocals sound like the singer is  in a dark room or in a dark club, with the beats coming from echoes on the insides of his brain and skull, backing up his thoughts like a hidden observer. He may just be talking to himself in some settings, trying to reassure himself on his current standings in his love life. It’s some seriously dark music, though – whatever he’s going through is some stuff that I would never want to go through. This is definitely some heavy stuff he’s dealing with inside of his head and he somehow turns it into some of the best beautiful and catchy music I’ve heard in a long time.

I may be looking into it too much and I may look like a freak for going into such detail over it, but how about you all listen to the mixtape at


and decide for yourself what it sounds like. What kind of images are drawn inside your head? I would love to know.

This album is fantastic, seriously. I know I keep saying that, but it really is. It’s free, I don’t know why you wouldn’t get it right now. I put the link right up there. Seriously, what are you doing? Do it now!

Key Tracks:

High For This, What You Need, House of Balloons, The Morning, Wicked Games, The Knowing

Score: 89

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong

This distortion tastes like donuts.

The Pains are back in the game with their sophomore album “Belong” that definitely sounds like a step towards more groomed sound compared to their self-titled debut album. Don’t get me wrong, I really like their debut album and I really like this album! I’m just pointing out a difference in sound between the two albums. That is all.

That being said, this album is a lot more groomed in terms of sound and song design. On their previous album there was more grungy-distortion filled moments with a tinge of darkness. This time around, there are more moments of light-hearted teenage fun time happenings. Again, on their past album there was that as well, but as seen through a lens with a film of vaseline on it to give it a more fuzzy feel.  The reason this album is different is because the times have gotten a little less angsty, the kids have grown up and out of their aloof, drama-filled cells and blossomed into teenagers that just want to live it up before they’re shipped to colleges across the country, which leads into my next point.

This band definitely lives up to their name based on the kind of sound they put out- it definitely sounds like a perfect summer day spent by teenagers: lounging around on blankets under trees, walking around abandoned warehouses or old forests, driving down a suburban street in a packed car with the windows down with this blasting without any judgment from peers; just pure bliss.

That sounds like a great day to me We would all know, we’ve all been teenagers at some point. I’m still one! I should know!

Oh what am I saying? These two albums are great. This one is new, the other one came out in 2009. You should buy both of them. Yep. Simple as that.

You’ll see the key tracks below, if you’re a thrifty person that likes to base things off of only a few songs. Sure.

Key Tracks:

Belong, Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now, Heart in Your Heartbreak, The Body, Girl of 1000 Dreams, Strange


About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
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