I was trying to sing along to the Purity Ring’s (@purity_ring) debut album when my little sister rolled her eyes, “this is worse than when you try to sing along to Grimes,” she whined. Thing is, she’s right. I have the same problems singing along with Grimes, one of my favorite artists of the year, and Purity Ring, one of my favorite releases of the year. They have a lot in common — disjointed electronic melodies, difficult to decipher lyrics and the tendency to sing all the little blips and whirls in the music that make the people around you go insane. The difference, though, is that I don’t really want to sing along to Grimes, while I want to turn every Purity Ring song up to 11 and shout along with it. This isn’t a slight to Grimes, who’s amazing. It just means Purity Ring figured out how to make interesting electronic elements catchy as shit.
Purity Ring has been gaining traction for a while, making her debut, Shrines, one of the most anticipated records of the year. Unlike most highly anticipated records, this one lives up to the hype. It exceeds the hype. Having heard most of their releases before the album, I knew I would like the full-length, but I wasn’t ready for an unending desire to listen to it time and time again. That’s what makes it great. It gets under your skin and stays there. This may be a quick record, only 38 minutes total, but when it finishes, the only thing you can do is start it over again.
It’s not like Purity Ring is doing anything too wildly different, the dark and disjointed electro-pop is something done thousands of times before. It’s just this duo does it better than just about everyone else.