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The world of Pure Bathing Culture is not the real world. It’s a world filled with characters like Scotty and The Bubble King and a place called The Ivory Coast that’s not the real Ivory Coast. It’s also a world created for its protagonists, Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman, to travel to communicate abstract thought and remember all the things they want to remember. It’s a place where the night is magic and it will transform you.
In the humdrum everyday world, the corporal version of Pure Bathing Culture has for the last few years been growing naturally and at a steady pace. However new album ‘Pray For Rain’ sees them make an evolutionary leap, taking their finely honed metaphysical pop to a new level.
You can hear it in the opening notes of their anthemic title track: in Hindman’s clean yet serpentine guitar lines interacting with the live rhythm section and Versprille’s lucid vocals cutting through it all as she asks: “Is it pleasure? Is it pain? Did you pray for rain?” You can hear it in the sweet pop perfection of ‘Clover’ and the trembling beauty of ‘She Shakes’, a story of two fantasy characters from different worlds being brought to an intense, fragile state through the experience of falling in love.
When it came time to write and record the follow-up to last year’s ‘Moon Tides’, the duo knew what they didn’t want. “We didn’t gravitate towards someone making indie dream-pop records,” Dan said. That was when producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Swans, Angel Olsen, The Walkmen) reached out to the band and invited them to come record with him in his Dallas, TX studio.
It was a taxing yet ultimately rewarding experience when the album was completed. “It was shocking to hear what the finished product was,” Sarah said. “It was like being in a vortex and then we came out with this record.” She adds with a laugh something John Congleton told her when all was said and done: “You were very brave.”
‘Pray For Rain’ is the sound of Pure Bathing Culture transforming from who they were to who they will be, of finding their way, ready to take steps both small and momentous on their musical path.
Andy says: Gently persuasive synth'n'guitar pop chimes, prettily topped with Sarah Versprille's engaging vocals. Gorgeous.