I’m absolutely shocked. Purity Ring has been around since 2010, and their debut LP Shrines since 2012. That was a decade ago! The electronic duo originally out of Edmonton, Alberta consists of vocalist Megan James and multi-instrumentalist and producer Corin Roddick. I missed out on their 2015 LP Another Eternity when it hit, and it took the annual New Years Sale from Rough Trade for me to snap up Womb, which debuted in April of 2020.
In this post, I’m going to do an unboxing of Womb, take a look at what I picked up, which is the red vinyl version, which I believe is an indie record store exclusive (as colored vinyl tends to be these days). Then we’ll dig into the music itself and I’ll do a side-by-side with their debut LP which is also in my collection.
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Alright. Let’s begin!
Vinyl Unboxing of Womb by Purity Ring
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Here’s the unboxing of Womb:
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As noted in the video above, I have Shrines in my collection (on cool teal vinyl, nonetheless!) but I haven’t really given Purity Ring a listen beyond that debut LP. So in the days after unboxing Womb, I dug in and gave it a few spins.
And here’s my take:
First Listen: Womb on Red Vinyl
I’m going to avoid too many comparisons to Shrines in this section, as I’d like to touch on that in the next section. So I’ll try to focus on the album as a standalone piece. (We’ll see if I succeed.)
As I noted before, James and Roddick started Purity Ring as an electronic pop duo back in 2010. A decade after their formation, they continue to create and produce sounds that fit that vein.
James’s vocals are unique, possessing what I can only describe as a loving eerieness to them. Roddick’s backing instrumentation and production compliments this. Together they create a sound unlike others that makes an album like Womb work VERY well.
Opening track “rubyinsides” is slow paced with a phantom beat that hints at an underlying triple-speed backing to it that is, well, quite fascinating! The duo follows it with the manipulated vocals in “pink lightning” — and right away we’re transported off this planet in the first two songs.
Jump to album closer, the one I’ve been able to find with a music video, and that sentiment is emphasized even more with sci-fi-leaning visuals:
I think my favorite off the album, though, is “I Like the Devil” thanks to a faster beat and catchy vocal hooks. Take a listen:
Looking Back at Shrines
When you step back and look at Shrines, which was released a decade ago in 2012, there’s a lot of overlap. The two albums work well together and not much has changed. Maybe, just maybe there was more emphasis on beats that has seen some progression and refinement by Roddick over the years.
Similarly, James has honed her vocal styling and lyrical prowess since then.
Neither of those are meant to discount Shrines, as that album remains hugely impactful and highly loved in my collection. More so, both are worth a listen, a brief but not overly thought-out comparison, and plenty of appreciation.