Review: Purity Ring – Another Eternity

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90%
90
Haunting

The duo’s sophomore album branches out from their traditional sound and into the gorgeous unknown.

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Another Eternity is the sophomore record from Canadian electronic duo, Purity Ring. Almost three years on from the release of their critically acclaimed debut, Shrines, the duo have been busy remixing other artists work (their remix of Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’ was included in the song’s digital remix EP), collaborating with other artists (the sequel for ‘Belispeak’ ‘Belispeak II’ with Danny Brown’ was released in late 2012) and from February 2014 onwards, working on their second studio album.

Another Eternity marks a change in the way vocalist Megan James and instrumentalist Corin Roddick worked together. Shrines was composed remotely between the two, whereas James & Roddick were able to create Another Eternity in the same room, recording and producing the entire record themselves in Edmonton, Alberta.

The album is full of Roddick’s sumptuous production, with James’ ethereal vocals soaring over the expertly produced beats. It’s difficult to pidgin hole the record into one genre. Whilst the album is clearly rooted in the bands standard synthpop and electronic sound, there are elements of trap, EDM, witch house and dream pop. To start with this can make the record seem uncohesive and distracting, but upon a few listen you see the expert production and James’ expressionistic lyrics tie all the tracks together creating a sense of unity for the record as a whole.

Current single ‘Begin Again’ is a thundering slice of synthpop, with a drop borrowed from EDM and dreamy vocals. The haunting, slow build into the chorus, and dark, crunchy bass line creates an opulent texture that ebbs and flows with the curve of the track. In comparison, lead single ‘Push Pull’ is full of baroque-pop influence, with the jittering beats underlying the verse and the syncopated, harp like accompaniment to the chorus.

The band has always had a DIY attitude, which manifests its self in their music. The production seems natural, unlike many of the heavily synthesized and auto tuned releases you see coming out in the current day and age, with jittering beats and dark, crunchy synth lines and harmonic changes. Purity Ring are clearly not only brilliant songwriters, but also incredibly talented musicians, which means that the catchy hooks and chordal patterns are supported by full, lush instrumental writing.

Although Another Eternity is a step away from the sound that brought Purity Ring almost universal critical acclaim for their debut, it’s not a step in the wrong direction. It’s an intelligent follow up record, with interesting, brave choices in instrumentation and sound, yet the duo haven’t lost what made their sound so special to begin with.

Another Eternity is out on March the 3rd via 4AD Records.

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