Music » Critics' Picks

Purity Ring

8:30 p.m. Sunday, August 26. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.



Don't pick up Purity Ring's debut full-length Shrines expecting to hear a rainbow of sounds; the Montreal duo of Megan James (vocals) and Corin Roddick (instrumentation) practices a glitchy electronic minimalism that favors just a few pet sounds. But the pair's exploration of those tones — pinging synthesizers, chopped-up vocal bursts, dubby bass — makes for an engaging listen that's too busy for chillwave and too fractured for dance music. "Cartographist" gets cavernous with big swaths of reverb, while the next track "Belispeak" turns James' already high vocals into a sped-up drum-machine pattern. But while the palette may change, it is James' high and guileless voice that offers sirenlike guidance through the LP.

Blog Buzz Grows Up: If you fell for Purity Ring when its first salvo "Ungirthed" was making the blog rounds last year, you'll find some of that song's breathless, chirpy charm in the rest of the tracks, though the band is wise not to push the sugar rush too far.