There's still a good sixteen weeks of the year left, I know. Then again, this came out at the start of February, and nothing's quite managed to surpass it since: not Animal Collective's critically adorned breakthrough, not Jeffrey Lewis' most brilliant album to date, and certainly not the overrated Veckatimest. Many will be inclined to disagree, not least because all of those albums are a great deal more inventive and sophisticated than The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. But none of them are as good.
I've already waxed lyrical about this lot a fair bit. Original, they ain't, but to adapt a quote from someone else: 'How are you supposed to know it's a Pastels rip-off if you've never heard the Pastels?' Call it faux-naiveté on their part if you like, but that wall of distorted, powerchord-driven indie-pop remains the perfect template for the lyrical narratives of awkward youth. 'Come Saturday' is, in this respect, the album in miniature: feedback, fuzzy guitars, cooing backing vocals, and a tale of summer love that cares for nothing but the moment: 'I can't see into the sunset / All I know is that you're perfect right now.' Absolutely wonderful.