If you’re a regular reader here on Thoughts on Tracks, you know my love for Purity Ring. And if you aren’t a regular reader here on our fun little blog, well then, I’ll just be honest and say you probably should be. In any case, if you’re within a short car ride, megabus trip, riverboat or even walking distance to Cincinnati then you need to get yourself here this Saturday night for when Purity Ring blows the lid off Mayday in the eclectic Northside neighborhood. Having gotten the opportunity to scope them in person earlier this summer, I honestly can’t think of a better way to get some fun on with a Saturday night and can promise some fun electronic vibes to go along with a killer light set. Saturday Night. “Fineshrine”. A few beverages. And maybe even one of Mayday’s famous hot dogs? Yes, please, and thank you.
You can catch up with my review of the debut LP Shrines from early July if you missed it and check out a video below of my personal track of the summer live along with an interview with the duo. Tickets are still available for pre-sale via Ticketfly and will also be available at the door for just $10.
Written by Greg Dahman
Yin and Yang. Which is the dark half? I find the emotions that most of us suppress to be the most interesting. Everyone can put on a shitty smile and act happy all the time, but that’s not real. Worst of it all, social media is a non-stop barrage of inspirational quotes, “life is great”, and fake positivity. You want to convince me your life is fantastic? Don’t tell me about it. Otherwise you’re just one of the rest of us, filling a giant hole with anything you can. The truth is, I am not a happy person all the time. I’m not depressed and shitty all the time either. I’m a mix, as it probably ought to be. Life needs to be a good balance, not some one-way Prozac induced trip. Well maybe it is for some people, but we all need to deal with our other half at some point.
Shrines, the debut album from Montreal’s Purity Ring, is a dive into the other side of human nature told via electronic synths from Corin Roddick and pristine vocals from Megan James. The duo’s uniqueness lies in their style, or better yet, their atmosphere. Whereas Tanlines brought about the early favorite electronic album of 2012 with their upbeat synths and positive vibes, Purity Ring combine morose, morbid lyrics and thunderous synth beats together to weave a world of a fairy tale gone wrong. And I mean that in the most congratulatory way possible because Megan and Corin have crafted one of my favorite electronic albums of all time. This isn’t just a band introducing themselves to the world. This is running straight through that door.
Shrines begins with “Crawlersout”, a fitting introduction to the experience of Shrines in that it’s about darkness, or nightmarish evil, taking over. When your first song on your debut album ends “they’ll sew their own hands into their beds to keep them crawlersout”, I’m officially interested. And after that introduction, “Fineshrine” takes it to a new level. In fact, I’m willing to go out and call this the jam of the summer. A hot beat full of emotion and feeling, it necessitates volume.
“Ungirthed” follows and begins with a drippy beat and more dark poetry. Images of “teeth clicking” and “drying bones” fill an otherwise somewhat happy mood. But perhaps the most interesting track on the record is the longest one, entitled “Grandloves”. An R&B jam with a slow moving, heavy synth that stretches out the beat, it’s a duet that brings a certain dark sexiness to the album. It’s a large song that can be so big that it feels almost overwhelming, until it retreats for a split second with Megan pulling the listener back in with her vocals before spreading out again. It’s like watching the universe be created in under five minutes.
The second half of the album features previously released favorites “Obedear”, “Lofticries” and “Belispeak” which I’ve previously covered as they were released. In total, I will freely admit that this album likely won’t be loved by everyone. Focusing on the ugliness of the human spirit amid electronic beats isn’t in the general public’s wheelhouse. But for those willing, you’ll get back more than you bargained for.
Written by Greg Dahman
A while back, and one of my first posts for Thought on Tracks, I featured electronic duo Purity Ring in a Band to Watch post following their two big hits “Belispeak” and “Lofticries”. After these two singles dropped, a long silence period came with the hope that we would be given a debut LP shortly. The wait is no longer. Purity Ring released the presumed latest single from the album entitled “Obedear” this past Monday along with the details for the album. Shrines will be released 7-24-12 via 4AD Records. “Obedear” follows the precedent set of ridiculously good simple electronic beats and with Megan’s vocals drawing the listener in. Simply put, this is one of my most anticipated releases of 2012 and it’s everything I’m into listening to right now. For those in the Midwest or willing to travel, you can catch Purity Ring this July along with me on Friday of Pitchfork Music Festival.
Written by Greg Dahman