Pure Bathing Culture - Pray For Rain
Pure Bathing Culture is one of the most lovely bands I’ve come across in many years. They have a wonderful slow disco vibe that hasn’t been achieved so well since Abba. Their most recent release, Pray For Rain, is compiled to perfection with dreamy guitars, smooth percussion, and the angelic voice of Sarah Versprille. From start to finish, each song is a brilliant pop-filled dreamscape.
PBC is what I imagine a band like Abba would be like today, but with a more serious tone. Even though their sound can feel vintage, it’s still very relevant. The guitar is what brings the sound to another level of genius. The guitarist, Daniel Hindman, creates leads that sounds like a continual beating of rain. At times, the guitar feels above everything else, and deservedly so. The synths, bass, and percussion provide the perfect canvas for the vocals and guitar to shine. It’s a charming collaboration; one that is curated to a level of pure gold.
Sarah Versprille has one of my favorite voices in current music. She can go from singing with a kind of whisper to singing from her gut so seamlessly that you hardly even notice it. Her melodies and harmonies sound otherworldly, as if we don’t deserve to hear them. In ‘She Shakes,’ she sings “Oh bubble king, you’re everything, the sparking zenith of my ring.” The lyrics seem to portray a fairy tale and the melodies come together to create a fantastical scene.
This is one of those albums that creates beautiful thoughts in your mind if you sit and listen. It’s cheerful without being annoying, but also has that familiar sadness from their previous album, Moon Tides. This album still hits it hard with emotion, like in the track, ‘Singer,’ with deep synths and sweeping melodies singing “I would give you rings for every finger and ribbons for you hair.”
They finish out the album with a beautiful, haunting song, ‘In the Night, In the Peaceful Night.’ Throughout the track, the vocals and guitar call and respond to each other. PBC cleverly brings up front the two pieces that make them so special. The songs builds softly, but still has impact. It seems fitting that she sings “we learn to shine in the peaceful night” because the instrumentation is steady and tranquil.
Their live performances are just as good as the album, which is how you know the musicians are incredibly gifted. This is one of those rare albums where it seems like everything just came together in it’s best form. It makes you sad when it’s over; it’s only 41 minutes long, but every minute is as she says in the track ‘I Trace Your Symbol.’ “it’s magic when it’s right...it’s magic." I wouldn’t be surprised if their next release is even better. They seem like a band that will have a lasting, uniquely creative, and exciting career.
by Amber Harris