wed 06/07/2022

CD: Pure Bathing Culture – Moon Tides | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Pure Bathing Culture – Moon Tides

CD: Pure Bathing Culture – Moon Tides

A ghostly atmosphere and melancholia from Portland-based duo

Pure Bathing Culture's 'Moon Tides': lovely

The prettiest-sounding album so far this year, the glistening Moon Tides evokes the ghostly atmosphere of The Cocteau Twins and the intimacy of Eighties melancholia fashioned by Liverpool’s Black. But it’s more than a revivalist album, since it’s firmly rooted on Earth and its melodies are fresh. Pure Bathing Culture are neither spaceheads nor nostalgists.

Pure Bathing Culture are the Portland-based Daniel Hindman and Sarah Vesprille, a duo who have previously surfaced in Vetiver. The only sonic link between that incarnation and Moon Tides is the muzzy, Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac feel of the album, shared with Vetiver’s last studio outing, The Errant Charm.

Moon Tides is built around the “shhh” sound of an old-fashioned drum machine, Hindman’s cascading, treated guitar (which falls between the Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie and The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly), the wash of Vesprille’s keyboards and her relaxed, keening voice. “Only Lonely Lovers” has the circularity of a Christmas song while, oddly, “Temples of the Moon” evokes Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”. With such simple elements, Pure Bathing Culture’s debut album suggests the devotional, the sound of solitary contemplation. Lovely.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Overleaf: listen to "Dream the Dare" from Pure Bathing Culture’s Moon Tides

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