Monday, 23 July 2012

Review // Purity Ring- 'Shrines'

Evening! I'm still in hibernation until Saturday (Apparently there is a heatwave back home? Say what?!) so until then, Purity Ring's debut record 'Shrines' is released today, so, I reviewed it for 4AD and I thought I'd paste it below as I havn't been really keeping things original on this blog as of late (sell-out?). When I first saw PR play Deaf Institute back in November, yes, they were pretty fucking good live but I honestly didn't believe they'd have the balls to make something so bursting with talent and individuality. Hell, the only thing I don't like about it is the artwork but I suppose I can't really hold that against them. Basically, read the kind words below, listen to a few tracks and most importantly, buy it. I hope you love it as much as I do! X
Purity Ring- 'Shrines' (4AD Records)
The words ‘Montreal’ and 4AD have both popped up onto our radar quite substantially this past year (Let’s not name names’ now...) and with the highly-anticipated debut full-length from Halifax/Montreal duo Purity Ring finally birthed into the world later this month, our Google+ notifications are spiralling out of control more than ever. Comprised of Corin Roddick and Megan James, both fundamental artists in their own right before channelling together for this project, create otherworldly “lullabies” for the dance generation and conduct experimental live shows- of which is all alluring in black and white for sure, but what exactly will release ‘Shrines’say to those listening?
For persons unfamiliar with the work of Purity Ring, one might conjure up a mentality of choral, clean-cut melodies and orderly compositions, oh how you should never judge a band by their name! Introducer, ‘Crawlersout’ showcases blissed, metallic whirrs married together with compelling keys and James’s seraphic tales to develop the track into a blissful state of equilibrium. Pulsations of resonating, twisted Male distortions- of which we can only presume is the alternative contribution on Roddick’s behalf- adds another depth to the darkened cosmos the duo have so beautifully created…not what you expected from a band named after a religious piece of chastity jewellery, eh? This is dance music done differently, one that challenges the listener to ponder themes and reach a point of empathy through James’s impressive allegory skills, rather than elation as usually anticipated from such a genre.
First official release, ‘Fine Shrine’, indicates the duo of sticking to their fool-proof formulae comprised of gloomy palpitations and angelic accounts coming across overtly Salem a la King Night on the instrumental front- yet lush anecdotal flutters throughout, help the track to reach an eerie level that reinstates their identity as a dance band, rather than being confined to short-lived tags of ‘witch-house’ or ‘drone-pop’. ‘Ungirthed’ uncovers itself as a showcase of what the couple do best, with James’s vocal range being reflected superbly (without being detracted from, unlike earlier tracks where production attributes, although executed well, do so) and suggesting that they’re not going to lie down and take labels, especially when it comes to that “lullaby” branding.
‘Amenamy’ continues on to exhibit dazzling ripples of metallophone and electronic vibrations before weaving into spacey working ‘Grandloves’, featuring a flavouring of male reverberations that add an unconventional element of complexity to not only the track but the whole collection, by flirting with hip-hop flairs and experimental concepts, of which the release is not exactly in need of but welcomingly embraces. ‘Lofticries’ incorporates a union of skewered soul undercurrents and flourishing stems of piquant stories throughout, a manner continued on (although under much more moving, stripped-back nostalgic terms) to closer ‘Shuck’, a certainly touching track that shimmers of its own accord, with impassioned lyrics of “I’ve shook all the light from my skin and I’ll light it in you” divulging a narrative of optimism and positivity to a truly empyrean level. Although experimental acts often find it difficult to execute a whole body of work seamlessly, without appearing brash or cacophonous, this is exactly what James and Roddick have managed to accomplish naturally whilst still retaining an air of immediacy and rapture.
An enigmatic collection of gorgeous, contrasting endeavors that not only presents itself as a universal piece of art but also cements Purity Ring as a limitless act with a bright future ahead of them. Exquisitely atmospheric and strikingly transcendental in more ways than one, listen for yourself when ‘Shrines’ is released July 24th and see why it is definitely commended as one of the albums of 2012 so far…

Words by Yours Truly

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