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Purity Ring ‘another eternity’ – Album Review

4AD (2015)

Having been invited to remix Lady Gaga and collaborate with Detroit rapper Danny Brown since arriving on the scene with their bewitching brand of witch house back in 2012, Purity Ring, aka Canadian duo Megan James and Corin Roddick, now tiptoe further towards the mainstream with their second album, another eternity.

Packed with warped synths, ominous bass-lines and spacious processed beats, these ten textured soundscapes might not be light years away from their striking debut, Shrines. But with a distinct lack of grotesque lyrics about “drilling holes in eyelids,” a shifted focus towards James’ enchanting melodies, and a handful of flirtations with trap music, dubstep and EDM, it’s a record which suggests the pair are ready to leave their cult status behind.

Indeed, “begin again” and “stranger than earth” contain the kinds of hands-in-the-air trance hooks you might expect from an Electric Daisy Carnival headliner, while the wistful choruses of “bodyache” and lead single “push pull,” (a title which perhaps perfectly sums up Purity Ring’s relationship dynamics with pop music) could easily have escaped from Taylor Swift’s recent chart behemoth.

Thankfully, there’s still plenty of sonic weirdness to be found elsewhere on another eternity, from the macabre electronica of “dust hymn,” which would have even given the now-defunct Crystal Castles a few nightmares, to the maximalistic organised chaos of “flood on the floor,” which just about avoids descending into Skrillex’s brainless brostep territory.

A lean, mean, future-pop machine which with a running time of just 35 minutes certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome, another eternity is a resolutely hypnotic affair which completely justifies Purity Ring’s decision to crawl slowly out of the shadows.

4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music, Featured


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