Album #79: Purity Ring – Womb

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Edmonton, Canada
  • Label: 4AD
  • Best Track: I Like the Devil

Canadian electronic pop duo Purity Ring came into mainstream attention here in the UK when their song ‘Fineshrine’ was featured on an advert for Very. It’s a great song that deserves to be heard as a bit more than a soundtrack to the sale of middle-market clothing, although the album it came from, their debut ‘Shrines’, didn’t really win me over that track aside.

My tastes have changed a little in the years since, and yesterday saw the release of a third album from the pair. Their second, Another Eternity, was by all accounts a venture into rather mainstream dance, but five years on, Womb is more of a return to dreamy, synth-heavy electro-pop.

It’s not 100% my cup of tea, but I did generally enjoy this record. I like Megan James’s childlike vocals and lyrics, often put together with little regard for syntax (“I would that the world become you, give it time”). It has that otherworldly effect (most notably achieved by My Blood Valentine) of sounding semi-conscious, in that state of being neither awake nor asleep, where nothing quite makes sense but your mind is too tired to question it.

I really like one or two tracks on Womb, like the striking and haunting ‘I Like the Devil’. Others, like the very clean and poppy ‘Vehemence’, I’m less keen on. It’s a strong album overall from reliable artists. I think I’m bound to check out any future Purity Ring releases, without every really being blown away by any of them.

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