[sic] Magazine

Purity Ring – Another Eternity

Back in 2012 Canadian electro-pop duo Corin Roddick and Megan James unleashed a crossover smash in Shrines, a cut-and-screwed dream-pop album run through with trap rips and irresistibly noir FX. Its eagerly anticipated follow-up, Another Eternity, is a little less showy then, less outré perhaps too, but no less svelte. It’s more straightforwardly “poppy” too, but this is partly because Shrines predicted mainstream pop’s now-wave of mutant “bass-pop” so well in the first place.

In fact, Another Eternity is one of those smart and classy pop albums that from humble beginnings (a fairly one-dimensional opening of watery synths, giddy 808s amd punchy choruses) grows on you immeasurably. In taking a step back from the absolute bleeding-edge of future-pop and thugged-out beats it’s actually – an EDM drop or two aside (even Zola Jesus can’t avoid those anymore) – quite understated … not that you’d believe it from the nasty trap loops and darkwave euphoria of the standout “Stranger Than Earth”, or from the gunfire percussion of the sugar-rush “Flood On The Floor”, a track which has also strong echoes of Grimes’ ill-fated “Go” project.

Though producer Roddick and frontwoman James are warmly comfortable in this bright, shiny new world – minimal lead single “Push Pull” slows the tempo to offer tinny snares as a counterpoint to the big bass – one can’t help pine for the darkness that once was all the same. Gone in the main are those nightmare rattles and gory lyrics. James is somewhat more cryptic now, her cutesy elfin vocal pitch-shifted and autotuned into robotic androgyny on the silken R&B of “Repetition”. All said, it was probably too much to hope for another ground-breaking album from Purity Ring, but, for the most part, the maturity on Another Eternity rather suits Roddick and James. Let’s just hope the dilution stops here though.

Best track: “Stranger Than Earth”

~Another Eternity is released 2nd March 2015 on 4AD.~

[sic] Review – Shrines