Purity Ring is the powerful, electronic duo comprised of Corin Roddick and Megan James. The two both grew up in and around Edmonton, Alberta, where they were engulfed in the city’s do-it-yourself music community. James played the piano while Roddick played the drums. However, neither play those as their primary instrument for Purity Ring. Most of the lyrics are written by powerhouse vocalist James, whose words often contain emotional insights, although she didn’t originally intend to release any of her writing to the public.
James and Roddick toured extensively together in the band Gobble Gobble (now Born Gold), with Roddick on drums and James singing. However, during one of their tours, Roddick began experimenting with R&B, hip-hop and beat making. He asked James to produce vocals on a song called, “Ungirthed,” and just like that, a new band called Purity Ring was born. In January of 2011, the song was released online and received immediate success from fans. Then the two were faced with the challenge of turning their side project in a full band.
A live performance by Purity Ring is ethereal and captivating, between lights, sound and overall appearance. After the duo established themselves as a band, they instantly got to work on and spent nearly six months cultivating a live show that could do justice to the innovative music they were creating. During live shows, Roddick uses a custom-built, tree-shaped instrument that drives both sound and lighting. Both members wear custom clothes designed by James.
Live electronic music occasionally gets the reputation that performances are not up to par with recorded sound, but that couldn’t be less true for Purity Ring. The band hand picks and crafts every element that goes into its shows. The result is an infectious presentation of powerhouse vocals, transcending beats and corresponding lights and drums.
In 2012, the band was signed by the record company 4AD worldwide and Last Gang Records in Canada. Later that month, it released its first official single, “Obedear” along with the announcement that its debut album Shrines was to be released July 24, 2012. After the album was released, the band began to garner an even larger fan base. In addition, the album gained critical success. Shrines reached No. 100 on the U.K. Albums Chart, No. 32 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., and No. 2 on the Dance/Electronic Albums. Pitchfork Media’s staff even listed it in the top 50 albums of 2012.
The band released its second album, Another Eternity on March 3, 2015. Purity Ring has been called, “future pop,” and this album embodies that aesthetic. This album is the first time Roddick and James both recorded entirely in the studio together. Songs like, “Heartsigh” and “Stranger Than Earth” are powerful both through vocals and synths.
Although the duo is still young (both in age and band tenure), they are not slowing down. With touring on the forefront and constant collaborations, hop on the Purity Ring train for your futuristic pop fix.