Obedear, the sky is low//Gather up its harm and gods with grateful arms
pinnacles and shrines
When Canadian duo Purity Ring first appeared on the scene last year with their winsome, celestial pop singles “Ungirthed” and “Belispeak”, the line going around was that they were like a miniature version of the Knife. The comparison isn’t entirely off-base: both acts are singer/programmer electronic duos with penchants for surreal, manipulated vocals and theatrical live performances. However, while the Knife’s creepy aesthetic plumbs otherworldly imagery, Purity Ring are intent on capturing something closer to home: the implicit creepiness of being human.
True to their tongue-in-cheek moniker, Purity Ring make music that plays around with the contrast between innocence and sensuality. On “Belispeak,” Corin Roddick twiddles the knobs to make Megan James’ voice oscillate between sounding artificially, little-girl sweet and pubescent-boy awkward as she coyly confesses, “Grandma, I’ve been unruly.” “Obedear,” the latest track from their debut full-length Shrines, finds them further refining those precious-yet-haunting vibes. “Oh, but dear, the sky is low,” James breathes, while bright synth pings hover around her like so many stars. With each track they release, Purity Ring show that they’re something more than an homage to their influences.