What does heaven look like to you? Is it pearly white and cherub-filled? Is it a shift at The Office at Lance’s Right on a hefty SW swell in the golden afternoon glow? Or maybe it looks a lot like that precocious brunette you spot reading in the corner at your local coffee shop. According to guitarist/singer Nate Grace of the Austin-based psych-pop band Pure X, it’s all of the above … but mostly the latter.
The quartet’s latest album, Angel, oozes layers of guitar — punctuated by Grace’s sharp falsetto — in such a dreamy and hypnotic manner that even the gruffest, most sin-filled listeners can’t help but drift off into bliss on tracks like “Every Tomorrow” and “Heaven.” The subtly joyous rhythms and lighthearted melodies the band curates throughout the album stand in stark contrast to its previous dystopic album, Crawling Up the Stairs. No summer sadness here. In fact, most of the languid and amber-hued melodies on this new record are in the name of love, unrequited and otherwise. Drummer Austin Youngblood goes so far as to call Angel “a record for the ladies, about the ladies.”
As fall rolls around and the previous season’s restlessness is replaced by the school-year grind, keep Angel handy to revive that summer mentality. Because as Grace puts it, “[Heaven] isn’t something you have to wait for; you can have it at any moment. It’s a mind space. It’s a way of looking at the world.” Whether it’s that glorious hour of light offshores in the morning or that brunette’s hopeful glance as she slides out of the coffee shop, heaven is somewhere right here on earth. —Dana Valdez