Purity Ring Talk the Visual Aesthetics of 'Shrines'

Purity Ring Talk the Visual Aesthetics of 'Shrines'
After a year of boiling-point buzz, Edmonton electro-pop-noir outfit Purity Ring have finally released Shrines, and it makes good on the promise of early singles like "Ungirthed," "Belispeak" and "Fineshrine." There's something extra musical to Purity Ring, though: a dark, sinister aesthetic that runs through Megan James's lyrics, the duo's macabre album art and the smoky grandeur of their live show.

According to James and beat-maker Corin Roddick, it's no afterthought. "We definitely pay a lot of attention to our aesthetic," James tells Exclaim! "We wanted to have a set of images that fit our music. I guess it's a matter of branding ourselves -- we want to be represented not just by our sound, but by visuals."

Hence, the giant background flags and handmade outfits that accompany their performances. Not to mention the extravagant lighting set-up, on which orb-like lights cast halos of smokey light up as Roddick hits them to trigger various queued sounds and samples.

"We've expanded on it," Roddick explains, "but our very first show had the light stuff going on. It's really important to have a visual aspect assisting the music. It's part of the overall feeling, looking at these images and colours while listening to our music, or watching us play. They all give the same feeling."

James urges the importance of complete aesthetic, maintaing that "Either together or separately, we wanted both [our visual and sonic aesthetic] to lead back to us."

Check out both on Shrines, out now via Last Gang/4AD, and watch the video for album cut "Fineshrine" at the bottom of the page.

Also, check out all Purity Ring's upcoming North American dates below.

Tour dates:


8/24 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom $

8/25 Cincinnati, OH - Mayday $

8/26 Saint Louis, MO - Firebird $

8/27 Lawrence, KS - The Jackpot Saloon $

8/29 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge $

8/30 Santa Fe, NM - Santa Fe Sol Live $

8/31 Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom $

9/3 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill $

9/5 Seattle, WA - Neumos $

9/7 Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore $

9/8 Nelson, BC - The Royal $

9/9 Calgary, AB - The Republik $

9/10 Edmonton, AB - The Starlite Room $

9/12 Saskatoon, SK - Amigos Cantina $

9/13 Winnipeg, MB- Lo Pub $

9/17 Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups $

9/19 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel $

9/20 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church $

$ with Evian Christ and Headaches