Purity Ring performing live in 2013
|Origin||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
Purity Ring is a Canadian electronic pop band from Edmonton, Alberta, formed in 2010. The band consists of vocalist Megan James and multi-instrumentalist/producer Corin Roddick. They released their debut album Shrines in 2012 to critical acclaim, followed by Another Eternity in 2015.
The band were originally members of the band Gobble Gobble. While on tour with them, Roddick began experimenting with electronic production and beat-making. James was asked to sing on a track called "Ungirthed", thus forming Purity Ring. The song was released in January 2011.
On April 3, 2012, it was announced that Purity Ring was signed by record company 4AD worldwide and Last Gang Records in Canada. Later the same month the band released their first official single "Obedear", along with the announcement of their debut album, Shrines, which was released in July 24, 2012. The album peaked at 32 on the Billboard 200, selling 90,000 copies in the US as of February 2015. It was ranked 24th on Pitchforks staff lists top 50 albums of 2012 and became short listed for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize the following year. Later that year, they released a collaboration titled "Belispeak II" with rapper Danny Brown.
In February, 2013, the band released a cover of Soulja Boy's "Grammy" as a free download in celebration of the opening of their official online store. Fan reaction to the release was so strong that it crashed the website servers due to too many requests to download. Later that year they released a remix of Lady Gaga's "Applause" for the song's digital remix EP.
In February 2014, the duo announced it was working on a second studio album. The band collaborated again with Danny Brown on his third studio album Old. On December 3, 2014, the group released the lead single from the album, "Push Pull". On February 26, Another Eternity became fully available to stream online via NPR Music's First Listen. The album was released in March 2015. It charted at number 25 on the Canadian Albums Chart, becoming the band's first album to chart there, and number 26 on the Billboard 200. On January 19, 2016, the band performed live on Conan. In April 2016, it also performed at Coachella in Indio, California.
On April 30, 2017, while performing at Fortress Festival, it was announced that the band would be taking a break from touring to record new material. The band co-wrote and produced three songs on Katy Perry's 2017 album Witness.
On July 24, 2017, on the 5th anniversary of their debut album Shrines, the group released a new single titled "Asido". According to Purity Ring, this song is "a standalone offering", suggesting that it wouldn't be featured on its possible new record.
In March 2018, the band wrapped up recording its third album.
Purity Ring's music is known for its combination of pop and hip-hop styles and James' "childlike" vocals and "macabre", "gory" lyrics, that she takes from "books and books full of things she's written" in the past. Their music utilizes down-pitched, distorted vocals and percussive and vocal loops. Genres that have been used to label the band include synth-pop,dream pop,trip hop, and witch house, while the band describes themselves as "future pop". While their debut album was recorded separately with Roddick sending instrumentals to James over email to record vocals over, Another Eternity was the first time they recorded entirely in the studio together. During live shows, both wear clothes custom designed and sewn by James, and Roddick uses a custom-built, tree-shaped instrument to drive both live sound and lighting.
Pitchfork described Shrines as "a definitive time capsule for the sound of 2012 (and 2013)". "Grandloves", off Shrines, was sampled on Playboi Carti's song "Fell In Luv", while "Fineshrine" was featured in an advertisement for UK online retailer Very. "Obedear" is the theme song to American television series Search Party. "Sea Castle", off Another Eternity, was used in the trailer for Marvel's Runaways television series.