Live Review: Purity Ring, The Institute, 27/04/2015

Purity Ring were acclaimed for creating the sound of future-pop following their debut album Shrines in 2012. Since this momentous claim the Canadian duo have honed and polished their sound and created a follow-up album, Another Eternity, that is altogether more rounded, with big hitters that summon the anthem-like force of standout track Fineshrine. Opening with Stranger Than Earth, a slick and brooding introduction from their latest album, Purity Ring immediately pick up from where we last left them. The duo experiment with their electronic sound much like their Canadian counterparts Crystal Castles and Grimes, merging dance with RnB and hip hop, altogether married with the sweet vocals of frontwoman Megan James.

The live show setup is a sight to behold, a curtain of individual lights draping to the floor, with James meandering through like a starlet in her all-white cosmic jumpsuit. Bandmate Corin Roddick stands behind her, conducting staccato beats with a drum machine formed in the shape of a postmodern tree sculpture, looking like a scene from a sci-fi flick. At one point James stands on a platform to strike a gong that represents a moon beaming down on the stage. Whether the crowd are holding their breath at the drama or simply in fear of her falling, one sure thing is that the duo like to put on a show. Bodyache and Push Pull are standout and refined songs that fuse pop melodies and sporadic beats, creating an unnatural-yet-perfect blend of genrebending crowd pleasers. James’ lyrics are as heterogeneous as ever, exploring mind and body as she sings ‘get inside and pull on my sea,’ on the unnerving track Sea Castle. While handing them the crown of future pop may be a little overzealous, Purity Ring deliver a regal performance full of dramatics that dazzles both visually and sonically.

Words: Matthew Way
Photo: Sebastian Miynarski

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