Cheltenham Review

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Album Review: Purity Ring’s Shrines.

Smothering, intelligent, and strikingly real, Shrines is like reading someone’s diary. There are moments of synth infused elation and fearless honesty, lyrics of neurotic poetry, and the same sense of surreal despair that you’ll find in a Bosch painting.

With tracks that blend so well together, it’s tempting to take Shrines in one giant mesmerizing hit. The sound glides through the forty minutes with a few rhythm variations and heavier synth sessions. The same ghostly vocals and cascading hooks. But why change something that works so well?

What makes the album so intoxicating is how perfectly co-ordinated the Purity Ring duo are. Corin’s unsettling beats on ‘Cartographist‘ pours in Megan’s lyrics of ‘color your cartography and your dreams of me/Maps will not lie, will not lie, will not lie in me’. The ethereal vocals are as strong a rhythm maker as the synths that lap underneath.

Despite this being a debut album, Shrines is assuredly precise and well established. For those who came across Lofticries on YouTube, this album builds on that same structure and tone. Expect as equally charming song titles, Belispeak or Obedear, for example. They make more sense when sung.

The lyrics are one of the most talked about highlights of this album. At times it’s anguished and freaky, but running on an upbeat hook, like Shuck’s ‘I’ll take up your guts/To the little shed outside. Or quiveringly sexual– Crawlersout’s ‘Grandma I’ve been unruly/In my dreams’. Like the beats, they’re surreal but convincing.

This is music to be savored in the dark, or to write senseless letters to your ex by its candlelight, or to contemplate brooding modern art with. But it’ll also blast out of your car pretty well too.

Purity Ring are Megan James and Corin Roddick

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