Future-pop duo capture with lyrics and haunting sound
Purity Ring’s sophomore album debuted at number 26 on the Billboard 200 because they really do bring the listener into another eternity.
Purity Ring are known for creating more ethereal futurepop music than the tunes that their peers produce. Rather than having the end goal of making fans dance, it seems as though the duo wants fans to drift away and get lost in their music.
According to a GQ interview with vocalist Megan James and instrumentalist Corin Roddick, much of the inspiration for Purity Ring’s thought-provoking songs come from James’ childhood diaries. James said, “a lot of the time whatever I’ve written down happens to fit perfectly over [Corin’s] melodies.”
James and Roddick grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and were a part of different bands when they first decided to work together. They released their debut album Shrines in 2012 with the record label 4AD, which reached number 32 on the Billboard 200 chart.
As for their most recent release, Purity Ring’s sophomore record Another Eternity was released on March 3, 2015, and debuted at number 26 on the Billboard 200. On the new record, the duo stayed true to their electronica sound, and this time they have produced especially captivating songs.
The album starts off with “heartsigh,” which begins on a soft note but quickly progresses into a more powerful sound that contrasts with the gentle quality of James’ sweet voice. The chorus is full of unusual imagery that still manages to make sense, with phrases like, “hidden breath beneath the floor,” and, “your tears drip from the drawers.”
The third track on Another Eternity, “push pull,” was the first single from the album. The inexplicably bittersweet instrumentals add to the reminiscent words of a song that, on the surface, suggests different activities one partakes in at the park.
A personal song like “push pull” may have James reliving old memories, but she told GQ that doing so isn’t difficult. She said, “I’m writing a journal [now] and I never expect people to be singing those words … back to me [either].”
Though Purity Ring’s talents are exhibited in most of Another Eternity, no song captures Roddick’s and James’ ability to complement each other better than “begin again.” Roddick has come up with a way to build up the song by starting off with a slower beat and then wrapping it up to become even slower still, while James sings in the chorus, “you be the moon I’ll be the earth, and when we burst start over oh darling, begin again.”
Roddick then enunciates the meaning of a new beginning by launching into an overpowering mix of melodies that ends when the second verse starts. Their seamless cooperation makes their music seem well put together, and helps create an atmosphere of wonder that flows from one track to the next.
Currently, Purity Ring are on tour in Europe and will be coming back to play in the US in May. Their show on May 29 at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. has already sold out, but with their success, it’s safe to say the band will be back soon.
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