Artist: Purity Ring
Record Label: 4AD/Last Gang Records
Electronic music has more genres and sub genres than Joan Rivers has had face lifts. Growing ever popular over recent years electronica has taken on many guises from witch house to chillwave, and night bus to dubstep. One thing that seems to ring true is that these monikers always seem to conjure up a lo-fi aesthetic with one or maybe two bodies creating DIY digital soundscapes in their bedrooms on clapped out computers. Montreal, Quebec residents Corin Roddick and Megan James go by the name of Purity Ring and this twosome plod this now well trodden path to the wishing well of homemade bleeps and beats. Roddick and James formed Purity Ring back in 2010 and their inception came when Roddick began experimenting with hip hop beats and approached James to lay
down some vocals to accompany his newly constructed wares.
The duo’s debut album is entitled Shrines and this record is a two part mix of vintage sounding electronics and contemporary r ‘n’ b/hip hop beats. Shrines is a puzzling album as James’ vocal doesn’t seem to suit the processed finger clicks and handclaps that brush up against the waves of synth. Equally the synths and beats combo appear lackluster and create a jarring experience when melded together and appear alien when presented together.
The machine driven percussion seems to have been facsimiled from any pop friendly r ‘n’ b starlet while the digital nuances are hardly groundbreaking or catchy enough to separate Purity Ring from the rest of their DIY brethren. What seems peculiar about Purity Ring is from their press shots you’d assume Roddick and James would be more suited to churning out a noise closer to Pavement or some kind of indie racket, however appearances are deceptive considering their aural concoction shares a bond closer to the booty shaking masses more than it does the cardigan wearing slackers.
Shrines has the overall appeal of an album that is trying far to be hard to be uncool while ultimately attempting to be very cool. Either way, to sum up this debut album, ‘meh’ seems to do the trick.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams