Purity Ring Delivers Major Improvement with New Album
Having released the news of their second studio album, another eternity, back in January, we finally have the full, 10-song album from Purity Ring. While the almost three-year wait since Shrines felt like an eternity, it was nothing short of being worth it. I chose not to listen to the pre-released singles – “push pull” and “begin again” – so that I could hear the album in the order the musicians intended, and I'm glad I held out. The album opens up with “heartsigh”, a song that is equally euphoric as it is gritty. Megan James’ vocals ends up complementing the random, “robot dinosaur” synths as if they weren’t completely different. The song also wastes no time bringing the listener in with a huge, almost unexpected bass line following the initial light, upbeat keys in the first fifteen seconds. The rest of the album is a combination of moods with a consistently other-worldly type feel.
My biggest concern before hearing the album was that I would find it to be repetitious, and thus boring. These concerns were quelled, as each song seems to have its own unique feel and assortment of snares, claps, saws, and kicks. The minimalist nature of the instrumentals and the uniqueness of each song demonstrate producer Corrin Roddick’s superb creativity.
I can also hear a significant improvement in the production quality of another eternity compared to Shrines: the vocals are crisp (when they want them to be) and the instrumentals were mastered almost perfectly. The lows are both clear and heavy – you can feel them without them sounding muddy. Each instrument is at the same time discernible from and dependent upon the rest of the song. This was something I hadn’t noticed from Shrines until I went back to listen to it after another eternity. The instruments on their first album tended to muddle together, creating a somewhat limited range of frequencies. This was not an issue at all on their latest release.
Overall, the album is an upgrade from Shrines, and is nothing short of addictive. Every song has a way of taking you out of where you are and keeping you there. While no one will be bored of this album anytime soon, we can only hope it’s not another eternity before their next release.