Album Review

Pure Bathing Culture - Pray For Rain

Despite brief drizzly moments, on the whole the album evokes the warmth of drying off after a torrential downpour.

Pure Bathing Culture - Pray For Rain

With the follow-up to their 2013 debut album ‘Moon Tides’, Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman of Pure Bathing Culture have skilfully negotiated a step away from production trickery and have honed in on the bare bones of songwriting. It therefore seems fitting that the theme of being brave enough to be your true self is one that the duo return to in their lyrics. The Portland couple’s work with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, The Walkmen) in his Dallas studio and his use of full analogue gear has seemingly assisted the transformation.

Despite what may have been uncomfortable process for the duo, the results are a comforting listen. Opening track ‘The Tower’ deals with the distressing idea of dying and not being able to communicate anymore (“Don’t tell me that I’m alone” Versprille cries), however it comes wrapped in shakers and exudes a warmth that fails to cool throughout the album. ‘Palest Pearl’ is about trying to protect a relationship in a tumultuous world but is delivered by darting melodies with all the nimbleness and fun of something by Phoenix, while the glistening sheen of ‘She Shakes’ has a touch of Christine McVie-penned Fleetwood Mac.

Interrogation rarely sounds as good as it does on the stand-out title-track where the duo have packaged the relentless questioning into a glorious, soaring pop casing; the driving drums and the yelps of Versprille feed into what is undoubtedly the album’s boldest statement. At times, though, the album feels a little lacklustre; ‘Darling, Save Us’ and ‘Maximilian’s Ring’ lose none of their distinctive warmth but almost get lost in the gentleness.

‘Pray For Rain’ is a sophisticated progression for Pure Bathing Culture. Despite brief drizzly moments, on the whole the album evokes the warmth of drying off after a torrential downpour.

Tags: Pure Bathing Culture, Reviews, Album Reviews

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