Purity Ring / Shrines
Joe Woolmer gives Purity Ring's debut a spin...
This scintillating inaugural release comes from a band still very much in its infancy. Formed in 2010, Purity Ring is Canadian duo Corin Roddick and Megan James. Self-styled as ‘lullabies for the club’, ‘Shrines’ is born to the soundscape of incandescent synthesizers and fractured beats, all allied with James’ atmospheric vocals.
The opening four tracks are a triumph of club-pop ecstasy and are instantly memorable. Played over a hyper-M83 backdrop, Roddick’s beats are imbued with a generous dose of hip-hop and early 90s R&B, most apparent on the fantastically constructed ‘Belispeak’ and recent single ‘Obedear’. Despite this heavy influence the album always retains an air of delicacy by virtue of James’ innocent and often adolescent articulation.
Criticisms are few, although some tracks digress from the melodic pop or captivating beats of the stronger songs to find less harmonious, and admittedly, less interesting ground.
Interestingly, a theme of anatomical exploration flows through the album, with James’ gruesome yet salacious invitation to “get a little closer, let folk cut open my sternum and poke my little ribs around” suggestively delivered to the listener over the spectacularly infectious sounds of ‘Fineshrine’ – the outstanding highlight of an accomplished debut.