Sunday, December 2, 2012

Album Review - Purity Ring - Shrines

Listening to this album is like watching a vcr of the Northern Lights with synesthesia. As you listen you are transported, even by the opening track, into a cerebral arcadia. Ethereal and captivating, it's a sonic masterpiece.
Singer-and-soundguy duo Purity Ring (Megan James and Corin Roddick) have created a very 'listen-to'-able album - an impressive feat considering how bland and evanescent music of this genre can often be. However, once you succumb to the magnetism you are rewarded by the pulse-catching lyrics and the provocative soundscape. And by that I mean that this being is alive, man.
Though the vocals are mostly processed almost beyond comprehension, it is still possible to discern almost all of the brazenly vivid lyrics. They are, thematically, very anatomically orientated ("cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you", for example) which gives this otherwise apparently esoteric (yet focused to the point of imperious) album a tugging edge. The production is pure, accomplished and enthralling, and James' vocals are flexible yet modest; an instrument within the music, rather than a vocal line over the top of a backing track, often mixed to be within the instrumentation as opposed to transcending it. Purity Ring's rapport with themselves is perfect.
Shrines is one of those albums in which it is possible to get lost - particularly as many of the track names are so, urm, abstract (e.g. Amenamy, Saltkin, Belispeak...) and a similar sonar scheme is used throughout; although it is my no means repetitive, the sound of the album is very uniform - not that this is necessarily a bad thing. With its gravitational, siren-like allure, getting spirited away is only too possible.
Final point - the embossing on the cover is beautiful.
So, yeah. It's awesome and more will always be welcome, as I'm incredibly interested to see how these guys evolve.

Music like this:

  • Grimes - From the same label and country, odd track names and inarticulatable synthesising galore is what awaits you here.
  • The xx - for those who like the empyrean, serving as both actual 'tunes' and angelic, synthy stuff.

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