This feature originally appeared in the September issue of AUX Magazine. Get your free subscription in the App Store.
WHO: Purity Ring (Corin Roddick and Megan James)
WHERE: Montreal, QC and Halifax, NS via Edmonton, AB
WHAT: The band’s debut album, Shrines, out now on 4AD Records.
It’s been a pretty good first crack for Purity Ring, the multi-provincial duo of 21-year-old Corin Roddick and 24-year-old Megan James.
The two, already Edmonton scene acquaintances, got to know each other better while touring with experimental party poppers Gobble Gobble (now Born Gold). “From there, we decided we might want to work on a project together,” Roddick says over the phone from his adopted home in Montreal.
Roddick was already in Montreal and James in Halifax, but it didn’t stop them from composing their first single, “Ungirthed,” in late 2010 via email. It was one of the first pieces of electronic music Roddick had put together. With it, they beat the internet odds when the song quickly founds its way from their Tumblr to tastemakers in January of 2011.
The sweet, throbbing R&B-inflected electro pop of their debut album (for 4AD records, no less) Shrines delivers on the impromptu promise of the story so far. But as quickly as it came together, it’s anything but a fluke.
“My goal is that whenever I have any down time, I want to work on as much music as I can,” says Roddick, whose top 40 pop and hip-hop tastes are now also his aspirations. “Whether it’s music that gets used for the band or not, I just want to feel like I’m becoming a better producer.”
BONUS: As the X3 Artist of the Month, Roddick reflects on Canadian music that’s been influential to him. “I remember being like, 10 years old and thinking that Our Lady Peace and Matthew Good were really cool,” he laughs, but he lists his favourite contemporary Canadian releases as Chad VanGaalen’s Soft Airplane, Braids’ Native Speaker, and Women’s debut self-titled album. We sense a western bias.