2011 marked a monumental infant year for Alberta-based duo Purity Ring. The pair effortlessly gathered accolades, including a spot on Sterogum’s Top 10 New Acts of 2011 list, a #38 listing on Pitchfork’s Top 100 Songs of 2011 (that put them ahead of Adele, Bon Iver, Drake, Rihanna, Washed Out and others), and shimmering coverage from The Guardian. The catch, they did all this without releasing an album.
Fast forward to August 2012, and the band is reveling in the success of their just-released debut, Shrines. It may have been a long time coming, but this creation perfectly blends Colin Roddick’s heavy and even ominous beats with Megan James’s ethereal, sticky-sweet coos. The result is something deeply stirring and infectious, a call to heaven that’s anchored in the cold mechanisms of digital machines. James’s vocals are so deceptively cute, they might make you miss her vivid storytelling. Who else could get away with lyrics like “Cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you”? If you need more, see the video for their first single, “Fineshrine.”
Directed by Young Replicant, the video for “Fireshrines” plays on the ethereal, yet realistic quality of Purity Ring’s work .
Their name, Purity Ring, is like a perfect oxymoron: pure sounds, but a deliciously twisted message. Perhaps, Mother Goose stories in a techno lounge.