Record Label: Memphis Industries/Partisan
It’s a suitable moniker that Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprillie have bestowed upon their musical project. Calling a band Pure Bathing Culture and not creating a soothing, relaxing ebb of wispy synths and dulcet vocals would be an opportunity undiscovered. With their debut LP, Moon Tide, the pair have channeled their inner calm, akin to drawing a bath, lighting some candles and sliding into the tub for a soak. Hindman and Versprille may invoke the notion of pamper time but the reality of Moon Tide isn’t quite the perfect immersion into soapy suds, while the tracks drift and glide with ease the underlying aesthetic with Moon Tide is that it’s shallow, when you’d want the bath tub to be a deep, submerged to the neck, deep piping hot smolder.
Versprillie possess a tender voice that drifts with ease and it’s evident the vocalist has a delivery like velvet. Sonically, the Moon Tide feels like the bath water isn’t hot enough or the bubblebath used for this aural bathe hasn’t produced the endless sea of foam you’d want. Pure Bathing Culture are lo-fi to the point Moon Tide sounds like a demo in parts, imperfection is one thing but there’s a feeling of being incomplete that echoes throughout the group’s debut. ‘Twins’ is built around tepid machine driven beats and a simple guitar riff that is almost non-existent. ‘Scotty’ follows a similar template but with added sprinkles of contemporary R ‘n’ B. In a parallel universe Rihanna might sound like PBC but currently the twosome only gesture towards the genre famed for shaking what yo mama gave you.
Recent single and well received ditty, ‘Pendulum’ opens the album and along with ‘Ever Greener’, this brace of tracks harness a pleasing melody and the use of shimmering electronics that interlock with Versprille’s crystalline vocal puts these songs as the most appealing on Moon Tide.
Perhaps PBC are shower people after all, because Moon Tide isn’t the immersive indulgent dip it promises to be.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams