Amazing album, one of the most interesting albums of the last few years in my opinion.
READ THIS IF YOU PLAN TO BUY THE VINYL COPY: The product page states that it is the "initial pressing on coloured vinyl". However, this is NOT TRUE. It is, in fact, the plain black vinyl. So be aware of this before ordering to avoid disappointment when it arrives. I have contacted Amazon customer services and they said they would change the product title but this was over a week ago and they still haven't. Other than that, the vinyl copy is great and gives even more depth to the sound.
Megan James and Corin Roddick are almost certainly masters when it comes to jigsaws as their debut Shrines seems a disparate beast sewn together with the same obsessional levels of fractured logic as are demanded by the pastime. Woven into its every popping chop are the hallmarks of people who take as much pleasure in deconstruction as they do reassembly.
The R&B, compressed snare beats and cloud pop influences of "Fineshrine", for example, seem to have been cut apart by fast-turning blades and then put back together under the tutelage of fellow Montréalaise and practitioner of outré pop Grimes. And just like Claire Boucher, Purity Ring seem to be riding the crest of some svelte now-wave of mutant pop, evident even in the naming of their tracks where common spacing is rendered redundant.
Quite simply James and Roddick are sitting on a crossover smash with Shrines. Threatening like the credible rumour of quicksand at an idyllic beach, the calling cards of the umbrella genre that was for a while known as witch house are to be found in its every shadowy corner. Given the greatest licence to roam in this arena with its arpeggiating 808 rips and tinny skitters is the atmospheric "Amenamy". These same signatures are nevertheless present for the tender "Grandloves" - a track on which James is at her most intangible and Roddick proffers a digitally affected rap above drawn-out bass, scuffed FX and snapping percussion. If you didn't know better you'd be forgiven for thinking producer du jour Clams Casino had here been approved to remix any or all of the current R&B chart.
Shrines isn't all shiny cut-and-pasting though; it has a dark core too, which is in part thanks to Roddick's occultist production, but also thanks to devilish work by his counterfoil James. A creature of contrasts, her cherubim vocal jars in opposition to her clinical tales of horror. "Cut open my sternum and pull / My little ribs around you," she sings in all innocence at one point and then later on "Belispeak" she implores you to "Drill little holes into my eyelids / So I can see you when I sleep." The latter of these decidedly macabre images comes star-lit with dub pulses, tampering of the vocal and an unstoppable sense of accessibility that it just aching to blow some minds.
Entirely more sparse however, "Cartographist," is for the most part comprised of bottom-end synth, nightmarish rattles and echoes. The opener "Crawlersout" is in turn all over the place in terms of vocal tempo and stop-time beats, yet it retains a very transparent pop vibe all the same. Another highlight, the "Obedear" blend sounds like vintage arcade soundtracking being played over smeared beats and bass-drum programme samples. Roddick here also comes into his own with brief syrupy raps and echoing, near-Gregorian chant drone. And there are plenty more chopped-and-screwed antics on the magnificent "Ungirthed" too - the childlike vocal on which dances near-nauseatingly over a busy palette of keyboard blips and slowed backing.
Shrines defiantly places the now and the future side by side and it's thrilling to be in at the ground level as this is surely what certain strains of FM pop will be sounding like very soon. What's certain however is that this labour of dark-hearted love will be one of the cutting-edge pop albums of the year and, given its pedigree, its assured success with be no puzzle whatsoever.
Shrines was siren-like in snaring me. As ever I cautiously sampled as much as I could before parting with my hard fought-over monies. I was impressed but felt at first it would be a nice addition to my collection of slightly odd music, not something I would have bouncing around in my head until I got home to put straight on. My first track of Purity Ring love was Obedear. I mistakenly thought it used a bear analogy because I do not read properly... And the line "I came over the sleeping mountains..." just cemented that image... I still have it when I hear it. Still a rich tune but I have ended up falling, almost addiction level, for Fineshrine with it's darkly sweet lyrics about love of self and sharing the experience of that illusive goal of white magic; the knowledge and conversation of your holy guardian angle... Yes, I used to practice Kabala... no, properly! Anyway, the music has pure magick woven in it's sine waves. Sirens would be jealous of this album.
Purity Ring along with fellow Canadians Braids are producing some of the best electronic music around at the moment. Purity Ring consists of vocalist Megan James and the electronics of Corin Roddick. There sounds is dark, trippy helped by the post-dubstep wobble bass feel. I can see why one reviewer stated about sound quality - the constant bass that flips in and out makes the sound seem a little strange to the ears. Careful listening your ears get use to it and the drums, vocals are at a constant volume and it's mixed fine.
As per other review the vinyl is only normal black - possibly they were coloured on first batch (as a little edition) and even the cover has a sticker saying coloured but it's not true. Don't blame Amazon! The vinyl comes with a download code as you can add to ITunes and create a CD.
Shrines is not your standard pop/indie/electronica crossover - didn't think I'd be writing that sentence for a while. Shrines plays to the offbeat musically,setting the finely fractured vocals on edge by relief - and it works extremely well. Most people in the UK are exposed to what I think is the strongest song on the album, 'Fineshrine' which was used on a clothing advert that is running from September.
One of the standout features of the album is the surprising viscerality of the lyrics. I found myself singing along to them and realising in a moment what I was actually singing, but it is frankly excellently refreshing to hear this kind of originality in pop music.
I think it is a rather Marmite album, but if you like it then you'll love it.
Heard Lofticries on Radio 1. Read some good reviews about the CD so decided to buy it. It is quite simply a wonderful experience. Beautiful experimental sounds that took me somewhere else, especially after a late night clubbing. I am always on the lookout for new sounds and these guys certainly have it. One review commented about poor sound quality but did not have a problem with it. Go treat yourself!
Great elcectronica: dark and sweet in equal measure with beautiful soundscapes. A great pair with CHVRCHES.
However, the item I received was not on coloured vinyl as indicated in the description. Very disappointing and misleading when it comes down to choose the vinyl format. Very unprofessional on both parts (Amazon's and supplier's).
Skittering beats, ethereal vocals and fat, throbbing bass that threatens to knock your vintage cat's eye glasses right off the bridge of your nose. Yep, modern R&B has finally infiltrated the sensitive feminist vegan market and this time it's not about doing it all night (unless it's re-reading Dorothy Parker's "Death and Taxes") or making it with anyone (unless it's a group knitting ethical but punk rock balaclavas in support of Pussy Riot) or anything that might actually get you hot and bothered from the neck down at all. Okay, truth is, the XX kicked off this particularly sexless/bloodless genre of electronica a few years back and the aptly-named Purity Ring merely elaborate on it in a similar vein. Playful sideswipes aside, this Montreal duo do actually build upon the aforementioned XX template and, whereas their debut album often left you feeling that actually less was less and the songs might somehow manage to create an audible event horizon and disappear completely, the tracks on offer on "Shrines" throb and pulsate (albeit tastefully) and grow with each listen. The song titles themselves are predictably twee and somewhat abstract: `Belispeak', `Obedear', `Saltkin' and `Lofticries'. Arch to the point of being almost impenetrable and, for all their malapropian pretension, sounding like something belonging to the world of My Little Pony or, as you often suspect, C86 reverence. Similarly, the lyrics don't bear too much close scrutiny either. As far as debuts go, while not being the most original or innovative album this year, "Shrines" does feel like a laser-guided blast of cool air and one that doesn't overstay its welcome; brevity too often being the first victim in an age where an album is no longer bound to the confines of a physical format. You could be forgiven for thinking that this was all part of a burgeoning movement with Grimes, Chairlift, AlunaGeorge and EMA all throwing the same downbeat electronic shapes. Can we start calling it Ladytronica now please?