The internet exists and because of that, new music is constantly being poured into our ears. Most of it is bad, so when good tunes float by some of us like to take note. As I hung out with a beer-drenched open mind at my friend’s house, I had to ask who this artist was that came on the portable speakers.
“Purity Ring,” she said.
That was three weeks ago. Over the next few days the genius songwriting and sound crafting comprising tracks like “Bodyache,” “Obedear,” and “Stillness in Woe” took hold in my brain. It was electronic art pop with hooks and textures that drew me right in. This thrilled my friend because she needed a concert buddy and I was starting to love this band.
The show was on Friday last week and it was really fuckin’ cool. The opener was an artist named Hana who gripped the audience with catchy electronic pop. The energy she gave out was way, way more lively than the recorded stuff we listened to online and it pretty much converted us into fans within two songs. She graced the stage alone, dancing and singing and occasionally manipulating a synthesizer.
Then roadies came out and started prepping Purity Ring’s stage setup.
In the past there have been artists who brought dazzling visual components to their show and tied it to the music, using it to directly influence the musical experience. The bands are so numerous it’s hard to keep track. For Purity Ring though it felt fresh, unique, and futuristic because their very instrumentation was made of lights.
A series of white “cocoons” in front of instrumentalist Corin Roddick are triggered each time he hits them with a drum stick, sending audio signals to his musical setup while flashing beautiful light on impact. Add to this a backdrop of string lights and charismatic singer Megan James, and you’ve got a pretty enticing experience. Her voice accompanied the flashing lights and glided through the Fillmore like a beautiful robot melody.
I’m 99.999% sure that most if not all the vocals happening that night were auto-tuned but does that really matter anymore? This was a futuristic performance, and in the future, wouldn’t everything be auto-tuned? The night’s sound featured a digital coldness and perfection which created an atmosphere of science fiction enchantment. Along with the spacious and otherworldly stage setup, the whole show was a perfectly crafted piece of art from start to finish.Each song they performed was more crushingly pretty than the last, finishing with their pop hook masterpiece “Begin Again.”
The thing that makes me glad about this show was the fact that both acts were relatively young. They’re already so creative but the future is right in front of them. They’ll almost certainly be back with new music and new ideas, and for that, every forward thinking music lover can be grateful.
The lovely Hana
Photography By Ariella Mostkoff