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PURE BATHING CULTURE

Pure Bathing Culture

Pray For Rain

    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.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: Gently persuasive synth'n'guitar pop chimes, prettily topped with Sarah Versprille's engaging vocals. Gorgeous.

    It's a rare and beautiful thing when a band emerges fully formed, but it makes perfect sense in the case of guitarist Daniel Hindman and keyboardist Sarah Versprille’s Pure Bathing Culture. Having backed folk rock revisionist Andy Cabic in Vetiver, the New Yorkers partnered up and moved west in 2011, settling in Portland, Oregon.

    In a short time the duo have created a sound that is undeniably their own: soaring synths, chiming keyboards, and shimmering electric guitars move in lockstep with bouncing drum machines, with Sarah’s crystalline voice floating on top of it all with divine purpose. It’s a sound that looks back momentarily for inspiration - Talk Talk, Prefab Sprout, Cocteau Twins - but then fixes its gaze firmly on the present.

    Further developing the sound of their acclaimed four song, self-titled 2012 EP, at the start of 2013 they set out to record ‘Moon Tides’, their first full length album. Again, they chose to work with producer Richard Swift at his National Freedom studio in rural Cottage Grove, Oregon. Throughout 2012 Swift had called on the duo to help him with other studio projects (Versprille sings on Foxygen’s latest album and Hindman adds his sprawling guitar work to Damien Jurado’s excellent ‘Marqopa’) which only helped to cement the threesome’s musical partnership.

    Like the earlier sessions for the EP, they worked quickly in the studio and improvised parts around the basic song structures that they’d carefully composed up in Portland. Dan explains, “Pretty much all tracks (vocals and instruments) are all first or very early takes. Richard is kind of a stickler about this and I actually don't go in with a clean, pristine idea of what I'm going to play on guitar or any other instrument for that matter, so there's actually a lot of improvisation as far as performances in the studio go.”

    It’s this compassion and warmth in Pure Bathing Culture that set them apart. The music is uplifting. It invites self-reflection. It never feels alienating. ‘Pendulum’ is a perfect mid-tempo album opener that pulses and shines. Other standout tracks from the album - ‘Dream The Dare’, ‘Twins’, ‘Scotty’ and ‘Golden Girl’ - are slices of reverb-drenched, soulful, danceable electropop that musically and lyrically tap into an introspective worship of the natural and psychic mysteries that surround us.

    Pure Bathing Culture’s debut album Moon Tides is optimistic modern music for souls who seek to explore the infinite.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: Gorgeous dream-pop for fans of Beach House and the like. Perfect for the summer.

    TRACK LISTING

    Pendulum
    Dream The Dare
    Evergreener
    Twins
    Only Lonely Lovers
    Scotty
    Seven 2 One
    Golden Girl
    Temples Of The Moon


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