Best of Edmonton, 2012: Purity Ring | By Andrew Booth

Edmonton has become something of a major outpost for electronic music these days, and with that, for better or worse, an outpost of MDMA.  While I can’t go as far as to recommend the drug (editor’s note:  drugs are bad, stay in school, etc., etc.), I can recommend that you listen to Edmonton’s newest indietronica/dream pop sensation, Purity Ring. The connection between the drug and the music is easily spotted: Corin Roddick’s long, drawn out synths slide over frantic drum machine loops while vocalist Megan James’ crystalline voice puts you in a trance, and seemingly raises serotonin levels on its own.  It is no coincidence that many artists and listeners alike have looked for Molly but found Shrines instead.

Lyrically the album reads as if torn from James’ diary – sex, intimacy, and love are all prominent – the perfect pairing to the ethereal sound provided by Roddick. “Get a little closer, let fold / Cut open my sternum and pull / My little ribs around you / The rungs of me be under, under you” James sings on “Fineshrine,” the album’s second single.  Ripped sternums, trembling thighs, ripped hearts, broken skin; physical, sexual imagery persists throughout the album.

The album is not without its unfortunate moments, of course (one listen of “Grandloves” is more than enough), but the overall crispness and quality of Purity Ring’s sound helps the bad fade from memory almost instantly.  The album’s finale, “Shuck,” strips away most of the drum effects and leaves you with nothing more than a reminder that, as with M, the comedown is always waiting for you.

CC photograph courtesy of Flickr, found here

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