On the surface, Pure Bathing Culture has had a relatively brief but potent existence, with three well-received releases in four years, including its last album, 2015’s diverse and somewhat atypical Pray for Rain. In fact, the duo — multi-instrumentalists Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman — has been together for the past 17 years, since meeting at William Paterson University in New Jersey during freshman orientation. Ten years after that momentous introduction, the pair became bandmates when they joined Andy Cabic’s rotating stable of players in his ever-evolving project Vetiver; they made significant contributions to the Tight Knit and The Errant Charm albums, and wound up relocating from Brooklyn, N.Y. to Portland, Ore.
Two years into their Vetiver tenure, Hindman created some looping instrumentals and Versprille added lyrics to one of his constructions in his absence. It was an organic lark but it was also the unforced birth of what would become Pure Bathing Culture. Versprille and Hindman played their unintentional song, “Lucky One,” for their friend, singer/songwriter/producer Richard Swift, who advised them to keep writing and ultimately produced their self-titled 2012 debut EP and its full-length follow up, 2013’s Moon Tides.
For last fall’s Pray for Rain, the duo was determined to avoid replicating the sound of Moon Tides and enlisted producer John Congleton to shake up its approach and sonic palette, which he did by recording everything as organically analog as possible to capture Pure Bathing Culture in a virtually live context. To begin that process, Versprille and Hindman collaborated on a batch of songs that defined their themes of transition, evolution and growth, all of which flowed well into Congleton’s vision. It’s been a heady ride for Pure Bathing Culture since Pray for Rain’s release. The album was cited
by several sources as one of 2015’s best.
Pure Bathing Culture is the warmest experience you can have with your clothes on… climb on in.
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