Showing posts with label purity ring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label purity ring. Show all posts

Monday, March 9, 2015

video review: 'another eternity' by purity ring

Well, it sure as hell was pretty, I'll give them that, and mostly soothing against the monster headache I had today (it hasn't gotten better). 

Next up, Cannibal Ox - and please god, don't disappoint me that hard...

album review: 'another eternity' by purity ring

It's a weird experience listening to Purity Ring.

See, when they finally released their debut album Shrines in 2012 after drip-feeding a number of singles, it immediately attracted a lot of attention for the plethora of bizarre contradictions on display. Gleaming, shimmering keyboards that were reminiscent of the cleanest dream pop and synthpop paired with roiling waves of wobbling heavy synth and hi-hats that reminded me of trap-favoured hip-hop. The ghostly vocals of Megan James paired with the cavernous oily moans of pitch-shifting, her sweet delivery paired with lyrics both intricate and innocent and yet shockingly graphic. The band was layers of impenetrability paired with a certain visceral sound that didn't need layers of deconstruction to understand - and when you did eventually parse out the lyrics, they did very much match that feel.

So why have I never been a huge fan of Purity Ring? Well, some of the reasons are pretty basic - I'm just not a fan of pitch-shifted vocals in any capacity, the sound turns me off, even though down-tuning is preferable to the chipmunk voice. But for me as visceral and borderline primal as the emotions Purity Ring struck up could be, it always felt they were blunting it through being needlessly obtuse. Don't get me wrong, I like intricate poetry, but the writing style didn't connect as well as I liked, almost being overwritten for their own sake. The dichotomies of Purity Ring reminded me a lot of St. Vincent's mid-period work on Actor and Strange Mercy, but St. Vincent always felt more grounded, mature and human in her writing instead of Purity Ring's approach of spiraling away into twee abstractions to take away from the plentiful gore if you thought about it literally.

So when I heard that Purity Ring was opting to go for more of a modern pop style, I was both optimistic and a little concerned. On the one hand, a stronger pop approach could lead to a more succinct and direct style of writing, but would the poetry be as interesting without the flowery language? And what would it mean for the instrumentation? So I took a look at Purity Ring's sophomore record another eternity - what did we get?