Purity Ring (band)

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Purity Ring
Purity Ring performing live in 2013
Purity Ring performing live in 2013
Background information
OriginEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
Years active2010–present
Associated acts
  • Megan James
  • Corin Roddick

Purity Ring is a Canadian electronic pop band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, formed in 2010. The band consists of vocalist Megan James and multi-instrumentalist/producer Corin Roddick. They released their debut album Shrines in 2012 to critical acclaim, followed by Another Eternity in 2015. The band released their third album, Womb, on April 3, 2020.


2010–2013: Formation and Shrines[edit]

The band were originally members of the band Gobble Gobble. While on tour with them, Roddick began experimenting with electronic production and beat-making. James was asked to sing on a track called "Ungirthed", thus forming Purity Ring.[1] The song was released in January 2011.[2]

On April 3, 2012, it was announced that Purity Ring was signed by record company 4AD worldwide and Last Gang Records in Canada.[3] Later the same month the band released their first official single "Obedear", along with the announcement of their debut album, Shrines, which was released on July 24, 2012.[4] The album peaked at 32 on the Billboard 200, selling 90,000 copies in the US as of February 2015.[5][6] It was ranked 24th on Pitchfork's staff lists top 50 albums of 2012 and became short listed for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize the following year.[7][8][9] Later that year, they released a collaboration titled "Belispeak II" with rapper Danny Brown.[10]

In February, 2013, the band released a cover of Soulja Boy's "Grammy" as a free download in celebration of the opening of their official online store.[11] Fan reaction to the release was so strong that it crashed the website servers due to too many requests to download.[12] Later that year they released a remix of Lady Gaga's "Applause" for the song's digital remix EP.

2014–present: Another Eternity and Womb[edit]

In February 2014, the duo announced it was working on a second studio album. The band collaborated again with Danny Brown on his third studio album Old.[13][14] On December 3, 2014, the group released the lead single from the album, "Push Pull".[15] On February 26, Another Eternity became fully available to stream online via NPR Music's First Listen.[16] The album was released in March 2015.[17] It charted at number 25 on the Canadian Albums Chart, becoming the band's first album to chart there, and number 26 on the Billboard 200.[18] On January 19, 2016, the band performed live on Conan. In April 2016, it also performed at Coachella in Indio, California.

On April 30, 2017, while performing at Fortress Festival, it was announced that the band would be taking a break from touring to record new material. The band co-wrote and produced three songs on Katy Perry's 2017 album Witness.[19]

On July 24, 2017, on the 5th anniversary of their debut album Shrines, the group released a new single titled "Asido". According to Purity Ring, this song is "a standalone offering", suggesting that it would not be featured on its possible new record.[20]

In August 2018, an unreleased Purity Ring song was featured in the trailer for Netflix's television series The Innocents,[21] speculated to be titled "Bitter Rhymes".[22]

In February 2020, the band posted a link[23] to an interactive puzzle/website that rewarded fans with a song called "Pink Lightning". The duo's third album, Womb, was released on April 3, 2020. It was announced alongside the release of the lead single, titled "Stardew".[24] In March 2020, the band released "Pink Lightning" as a single, as well as another single called "Peacefall", which features backing vocals from Mew vocalist Jonas Bjerre.[25][26]

Style and impact[edit]

Corin Roddick (left) and Megan James (right) performing live in 2012.

Purity Ring's music is known for its combination of pop and hip-hop styles and James' "childlike" vocals and "macabre", "gory" lyrics, that she takes from "books and books full of things she's written" in the past.[27][28][29][30][31][32] Their music utilizes down-pitched, distorted vocals and percussive and vocal loops.[31][32] Genres that have been used to label the band include synth-pop,[33] dream pop,[34] trip hop,[35] and witch house,[36] while the band describes themselves as "future pop".[29] While their debut album was recorded separately with Roddick sending instrumentals to James over email to record vocals over, Another Eternity was the first time they recorded entirely in the studio together.[31][27] During live shows, both wear clothes custom designed and sewn by James, and Roddick uses a custom-built, tree-shaped instrument to drive both live sound and lighting.[1]

Pitchfork described Shrines as "a definitive time capsule for the sound of 2012 (and 2013)".[29] "Grandloves", off Shrines, was sampled on Playboi Carti's song "Fell In Luv",[37] while "Fineshrine" was featured in an advertisement for UK online retailer Very[38] and a sixth season episode of Letterkenny. "Obedear" is the theme song to American television series Search Party. "Sea Castle", off Another Eternity, was used in the trailer for Marvel's Runaways television series.[39]


  • Megan James – lead vocals (2010–present)
  • Corin Roddick – instruments, production (2010–present)



  1. ^ a b "4AD – Purity Ring". 4AD. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  2. ^ Richardson, Mark (January 21, 2011). "Purity Ring: "Ungirthed"". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  3. ^ Minsker, Evan; Phillips, Amy (April 3, 2012). "Purity Ring Sign to 4AD and Last Gang". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "4AD Announces Purity Ring Album, Shrines". 4AD. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "Purity Ring". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  6. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Staff Lists: The Top 50 Albums Of 2012, Pitchfork.com
  8. ^ "The 2013 Polaris Music Prize Short List Nominees". Polaris Music Prize. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  9. ^ Hudson, Alex. "Polaris Music Prize Unveils 2013 Long List". Exclaim.ca. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  10. ^ "PURITY RING on Twitter: "here's the sequel to Belispeak with a little help from @XDannyXBrownX"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  11. ^ "New Things". Archived from the original on November 26, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  12. ^ "PURITY RING on Twitter: "YOU CRASHED OUR SERVERS!! Check out "Grammy" here:"". Twitter.com. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  13. ^ Brown, Harley. "Purity Ring's Megan James on Embracing Their 'Future Pop' Label: 'It Feels a Little Bit Safer'". Billboard.com. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  14. ^ Sperounes, Sandra. "More with Purity Ring's Megan James: Coachella, Danny Brown, success and velvet | Edmonton Journal". Blogs.edmontonjournal.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-09. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  15. ^ "New Song". Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  16. ^ "First Listen: Purity Ring, 'Another Eternity'". NPR. 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  17. ^ "iTunes - Music - Another Eternity by Purity Ring". Itunes.apple.com. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  18. ^ "Purity Ring". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  19. ^ Eddie Fu "Purity Ring celebrate 5th anniversary of Shrines with new song "Asido": Stream", Consequence of Sound, July 24, 2017
  20. ^ RING, PURITY. "In honor of the 5th anniversary of our debut LP shrines, we introduce asido, a standalone offering". Twitter.com.
  21. ^ "The Innocents: Little Secrets | Official Trailer #2 [HD] | Netflix". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  22. ^ "Shazam". Shazam.com. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  23. ^ "Purity Ring Release "pink lightning" Teaser + New Album Info". Kill The Music. February 7, 2020.
  24. ^ "Purity Ring Announce New Album 'WOMB,' Share "stardew": Listen". Stereogum.com. 2020-02-18. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  25. ^ "Purity Ring - "peacefall" and "pink lightning"". Stereogum. March 18, 2020. Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  26. ^ "PURITY RING on Twitter". Twitter. March 18, 2020. Retrieved 2020-03-20.
  27. ^ a b "Interview: Megan James and Corin Roddick of Purity Ring". Complex.com. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  28. ^ Muller, Marissa G. (August 26, 2011). "Rising: Purity Ring". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  29. ^ a b c "Purity Ring". Pitchfork. February 10, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  30. ^ Cragg, Michael (January 24, 2011). "New music: Purity Ring – Ungirthed". The Guardian. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  31. ^ a b c "Purity Ring interview: "This isn't confession."". Dummy Magazine. July 6, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Purity Ring review – chilly atmospherics from intense electro-pop duo". Guardian.co.uk. May 1, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  33. ^ "Best of SXSW 2012, Wednesday: Fiona Apple, Zola Jesus, High on Fire". Spin. Buzz Media. March 15, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  34. ^ Weiss, Sam (October 10, 2012). "Purity Ring Announces North American Tour Dates". Complex. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  35. ^ "Purity Ring Distilled Trip Hop, Stadium Rave, and Gothic into One Evening". Complex. May 1, 2015. Archived from the original on February 3, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  36. ^ Sullivan, Ben. "Purity Ring – Shrines". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  37. ^ PURITY RING. "PURITY RING on Twitter: "đ&#x;–¤ing this @playboicarti album! fell in luv samples grandloves". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  38. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  39. ^ "The Song In Marvel's 'Runaways' Trailer Sets The Tone For The Hulu Series — VIDEO". Bustle.com. Retrieved 2020-04-04.

External links[edit]