Album #44: Purr – Like New

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: New York City, USA
  • Label: Anti
  • Best Track: Cherries

It’s not easy to find out much about Purr. There have been several short-lived bands of the same name, but this is a New York boy-girl duo releasing their debut album. I tend to be quite fond of mixed-sex two-piece bands – Big Deal being an example that springs to mind in recent years. There’s just something quite likable about a male and female vocal singing together, even if they’re not even harmonising.

This is an unusual record, mainly because of the vocals. They sound like something from a forgotten era of ’70s or ’80s pop, like an act you’d see on an obscure episode of Top of the Pops 2. Hazy, androgynous and with bits of pah-pah-pah-style scat singing here and there, it’s a little out of keeping with both vocals you tend to hear in modern alternative music that are usually either hushed and ethereal, or sonic and powerful. It makes the title of the album interesting in a way – this music is so antiquated, it’s “like new”.

It did nothing for me on first listen, but by the second and third, I was beginning to get hooked in by some of the melodies and choruses. I find it hard to describe Purr as anything but pop, but it’s good pop, complete with mystique and individuality. The last two tracks in particular round things off nicely, with ‘Cherries’ serving up a marvellously catchy chorus, and closer ‘Evil’ making me think of what you’d get if you put Fleetwood Mac verses alongside Cocteau Twins choruses.

Quirky, yet accessible, Like New is not entirely my cup of tea, but is refreshing all the same.

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