Canada's Purity Ring emerged as one of the clear showstoppers at last year's South by Southwest music festival, where the band (a duo, Corin Roddick and Megan James) performed among its foggy, beat-triggered light display orchestrated by its hook-happy electronic pop.
Roddick and James craft an unassumingly addictive and satisfying amalgamation of sugary synthesizers and lush, pretty vocals with the snappy 808 beats and dense bass pulses of Southern hip-hop. What sounds like a bold and doomed-to-fail collage of current pop trends works, and not so unsurprisingly. The songs on the band's debut Shrines, which topped several year-end lists, are warped by James' colorful lyrical imagery, from ringing ears and clicking teeth to strangely romantic gloom ("cut open my sternum and pull / my little ribs around you"), matched with Roddick's psychedelic renderings of syrupy radio rap beats.
The band's winter schedule — 18 shows in 18 days — is sold out, from Montreal to Atlanta to tonight's show at Maison in New Orleans. (Read the show preview in Gambit here.) But fear not — download stand-out tracks "Obedear" and "Fineshrine" at label 4AD's website.