Bumbershoot 2011, Monday: Purity Ring

photos by Matthew Thompson

It is a ridiculous name for this new band out of Canada (Corin Roddick, formerly of Gobble Gobble and his friend Megan James) that makes incredibly sexy, bright and slightly downbeat electronic beats. During Purity Ring‘s set at the 2011 Bumbershoot Music & Arts festival, James’ soaring vocals were prominent the entire time, often manipulated by Roddick at his mixing board, which consisted of a pipe structure with what looked like paper mache caps on white Christmas lights. Megan James’ vocals were often extended and fragmented to the point where it seemed like the whole song, beat, melody and structure was going to collapse — that is, until Roddick dug out the underlying rhythms. Throughout the set, he hit the pipes to produce numerous different sounds. At times, they were both collaborating on the pipe board. The lighting throughout the show was also done commendably. A kick drum with a light in it, three colorful lights at the bottom of the stage flickered on and off occasionally. At one point, James walked around with a portable bulb, dim-lit with a cage surrounding it.

The duo have only released a couple songs, perhaps the strongest being “Ungirthed” (yet another semi-ironic name for a song as catchy and candy-sweet as this one). A new song entitled “Belispeak” will arrive on October 10 in the form of a split 7″ with Calgary art-rock band Braids. There is much to look forward to with this mysterious band.

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