purityring

Ignore the 4AD logo and the ethereal artwork for a second. Purity Ring’s second effort is, above all else, a proper pop album. Much of ‘another eternity’ (the track titles being all-lower case is, we’re told, important) could sit comfortably on Top 40 radio – all glossy synths, stuttering RnB beats and vocals processed into the stratosphere. Sure, that may fly in the face of their self-described futurepop, but with production this rich and textured, at least it makes ‘now’ sound better. ‘push pull’ lurches its way out of the box, with queasy drum patterns declaring war on themselves, and ‘sea castle’ somehow makes Pixies’ quiet-LOUD-quiet trick work in a synthpop setting.

The problem with ‘another eternity’, though, is that, for all its pop production savvy, it rarely has the songs to back it up. Only closer ‘stillness in woe’ sounds like it was written with the vocals in mind, allowing Megan James’s vulnerable voice to take centre stage. For a duo who didn’t record a note of their debut album in the same room as each other, this follow up all sounds oddly detached.

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