Pure Bathing Culture – Pure Bathing Culture (EP) (Memphis Industries – UK) (Father/Daughter Records – US)
Pure Bathing Culture are a pop duo based in Portland, OR. As the story goes, band members Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprille began writing together in 2009 and through various serendipitous connections met multi-instrumentalist and producer Richard Swift who heard their demos and invited them to record with him at his studio in Oregon. The sessions resulted in Pure Bathing Culture’s debut self titled, four-song EP.
From the opening seconds of “Lucky One” you might feel as if you’ve entered a time warp. An 80’s style pop production made up of chorus-effected guitar melodies, beds of warm synths, brush drumming, and Calyspo percussion combine while allowing Sarah Versprille’s gorgeous hushed vocals and West Coast melodies to take centre stage. The sound is then generously doused in reverb to create a dreamy quality.
Pure Bathing Culture’ sound and style is a smooth soul inflected 80s pop most reminiscent of Everything But The Girl meets The Sundays. The soul-pop reference is no more evident than on” Silver Shore’s Lake” while “Ivory Coast” offers glimpses of perhaps Cocteau Twins at their most pop.
Where bands set out to create a “retro” sound by replicating and implementing kitschy sounds of yesteryear in standard pop structures (i.e. A-B-A-B-C-B), Pure Bathing Culture reintroduce melodies, arrangements and a style of songwriting not heard this decade and ironically sound incredibly fresh and refreshing in the process.
Thoroughly enjoyable, elegantly crafted, all four songs are truly a masterclass in songwriting.
A brilliant surprise new find for 2012, Pure Bathing Culture’s self-titled EP was released digitally back in May 2012 is available now through Father/Daughter Records in the U.S. and Memphis Industries in the U.K. The EP is also available on12″ vinyl , which can be ordered from Father/Daughter Records or Rough Trade.
Watch the video for “Ivory Coast” below: