If you're looking for a convenient overview of on-trend indie pop right now, listen no further than the debut LP from Purity Ring. The Montreal/Halifax duo combines muffled, moody hip-hop-influenced beats and spaced-out synths with quirky vocal effects and saccharine songwriting that sounds something like if Southern rap producer Lex Luger produced the Knife.
That pairing sounds either super-annoying or extremely inspired, and Shrines runs the gamut between those extremes. When the contrast between beat maestro Corin Roddick's cold, shivery beats and singer Megan James's heartfelt vocals and lilting melodies locks in, Purity Ring produce serious pop earworms, like the wobbly Ungirthed and the groovy, minimalist Obedear.
Conversely, the inventiveness in James's vocals draws attention to the lack of that quality in Roddick's production, which grows clichéd after a while, particularly his reliance on skittery drum rolls that turn positively orgiastic on closing track Fineshrine.
Top track: Ungirthed