Purity Ring | Shrines

4AD (2012)
By REYAN ALI  |  July 17, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

Purity Ring - Shrines

Ever imagined what it would be like to hear an angel-voiced woman recite a book of fairy tales in the back of a nightclub at 2 am as drowsy synth lines float through the speakers? Okay, probably not, but Purity Ring's Shrines approximates that vibe. On their debut full-length, the Edmonton duo focus on mixing Megan James's fluttering vocals with Corin Roddick's bonsai garden of restrained, chilly synthesizers — a formula reminiscent of fellow upstarts Grimes, Small Black, and Class Actress. In addition to the two primary ingredients, the Purity Ring recipe also includes a healthy use of chopped- and-screwed effects and song titles that resemble names of obscure Pokémon characters ("Belispeak," "Saltkin," "Amenamy"), with a careful hand guiding the proceedings. Although the band's sonic stew isn't particularly remarkable or consistent (instrumentation oscillates between warm and comforting, and distant and anemic), their lyrics have a peculiar charm that keeps them alluring. Disconcerting images lurk beneath that sweet sound, as James sings about a sliced-up sternum, worms, and caring about her grandmother's opinion to a frightening, obsessive degree. All fairy tales have their dark spaces, and Purity Ring's dedication to that principle is what makes their pop most enticing.
Related: Review: Joyful Noise, Alex Chilton | Free Again: The ''1970'' Sessions, Cardinal | Hymns, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, new, effects,  More more >
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