In Christian circles, a purity ring is the physical manifestation of a pledge to remain abstinent until after marriage. Megan James and Corin Roddick may have decided to adopt that name for their Electronic duo as an ironic statement, or maybe they just wanted to draw Google hits from unsuspecting Jonas Brothers fans.
In any event, Purity Ring has attracted plenty of attention since James and Roddick broke away from the band Gobble Gobble and formed Purity Ring in 2010 around Roddick's Electro Pop experiments and beat constructions. The duo's first track, "Ungirthed," was one of Roddick's initial attempts, which he asked James to sing over; the song was officially released in January 2011 to much acclaim and a good deal of anticipation for the future. That promise was fulfilled last month with the release of Shrines, Purity Ring's debut album on renowned oddball label 4AD.
The aptly titled Shrines exhibits Purity Ring's myriad influences and methodologies, from Roddick's love of Hip Hop and R&B to James' ethereal vocals and incredibly personal lyrics, all of which is woven together to create a sonic pastiche bristling with obvious Electronic bombast and subtle Dream Pop texture. Alternately epic and intimate, Purity Ring is both soothing and unsettling — a candy kiss delivering a tequila punch, the darkly cheery soundtrack to a horror movie about lightly possessed children. Purity Ring makes earbud music on a grand scale, offering compelling songs that force listeners to think while they pretend to dance.
PURITY RING plays Saturday, Aug. 25 with Evian Christ and Headaches at Mayday in Northside. Buy tickets, check out performance times and venue details here.