Is it premature or arrogant to declare Purity Ring’s debut to be this year’s most artistic record? Given Shrines has coloured in every inch of the definition for authenticity, it may be an understatement soaking up the tip of everyone’s tongues. Trapped in layers of inventive sound, duo Megan James and Corin Roddick throw the stereotypical elements of an electronic act to the wolves by taking the complexity of amplified fusions and finely molding it to a palette of gentle vocals. The results contradict pop and break it at the same time, from the fluttering reverie of the trip-hop number “Saltkin” to the wraithlike grit of “Belispeak” and “Obedear”. Even in the doom spattered on the tides of “Cartographist” and “Grandloves”, Purity Ring find a way to connect, explore and pulsate through grim R&B overtones that shutter and warp to hit complete notes. That’s where lies the beauty in Shrines; James has an understated sense of attraction to her voice, which when matched to her off-beat theories of existence weave her personal confides (“I’ll shuck all the light from my skin and hide it in you”) and her colleague’s attention to detail through a loudspeaker facing your heart. It’s not clear but you’ll hear every thud it makes.
Download: “Ungirthed”, “Crawlersout”, “Amenamy”
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