Canadian indie-pop duo Purity Ring (singer Megan James and producer Corin Roddick) released a song today in preparation for their first album, Shrines, which is coming out July 24th, 2012.  The group, formed in 2010, debuted their first single last January to critical acclaim. Their sound could best be described as hard-hitting 808s with dark, R&B-influenced electronic synths and echoing, distorted vocals thrown on top. Corin Roddick puts together dense tracks that can be both upbeat and intense or heavy and eerie all at once. Possible influences could be genres like neo-soul and southern rap (especially trap), and musicians like Kanye West and Clams Casino.

Vocalist Megan James, Purity Ring’s other half, has odd and often disturbing lyrics that are hidden behind the melodies and innocence of her own voice.  Vocal content often invokes both colorful and dark imagery.  Descriptions of the sky, natural landscape and also the decay of body parts appear in the songs “Fineshrine”, “Obedear” and “Lofticries”  In a summer 2011 interview*, Corin Roddick has stated that Megan James’ lyrics are full of hidden references to disappointment and unmet expectations.  James has also said that her vocals were taken from writings that were never intended for public release.

One easy comparison and probable influence for Purity Ring would be Kanye West’s 2008 album “808s & Heartbreak.”  West’s iconic electro-pop record used 808 drums, Auto-tune, and dark, somber melodies, which had a clear impact on music made by the Canadian duo and many other artists today.  Despite the distinct similarities in sound, Kanye’s notable venture into pop was overtly emotional, bleak and withdrawn; the same should not be said of Purity Ring.  The percussion hits harder and the music is intense whether it sounds happy or sad. Purity Ring’s vocals are both powerful and indirect in lyrical content, the opposite of Kanye West in “808s & Heartbreak.”

The buzz around their music has grown since Purity Ring’s first single, “Ungirthed”; a Youtube video streaming their song “Lofticries” gaining over 7 million views.  Two months ago, Purity Ring signed to British label 4AD, an independent record company whose other artists include Bon Iver, Deerhunter and SpaceGhostPurpp.  The group has been touring internationally since May, and will join the band Dirty Projectors on their tour in July.  Today, Purity Ring put out the song, “Fineshrine”.  Check the leak out below, as well as Purity Ring’s most popular song, “Lofticries.”

*The interview is unfortunately with wack and elitist indie website Pitchfork, you can check it out here.

Purity Ring – Fineshrine (Download)

Purity Ring – Lofticries

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