The following article was written by our newest contributor, LES resident Flora Theden:
There’s a modern, imaginative sound created by Pure Bathing Culture’s Sarah Versprille (keyboard/vocals) and Daniel Hindman (guitar) that sets the dreamy, electro-pop duo apart. Introspective lyrics and danceable, optimistic melodies from the band’s upcoming album were showcased during the band’s Mercury Lounge performance last Friday evening.
While the rain poured down outside, Versprille used her sultry voice to connect with the crowd, serenading them with sweet melodies from the band’s 12” self-titled EP (Father/Daughter Records). Pure Bathing Culture also previewed new songs from their upcoming album, Moon Tides (Partisan Records), which is set to be released August 20th. Opening for the soulful duo was Brooklyn-based Monogold (Paper Garden Records), who created the perfect vibe for the show with a psych-pop revival reminiscent of Animal Collective.
Ex-members of the folk group, Vetiver, Hindman and Versprille began writing songs together in 2009 while living in Brooklyn, but packed their bags and moved to Portland, Oregon in 2011 to record with producer Richard Swift. They put a name to the batch of songs they had been working on and released the lovely EP. But with the upcoming release of Moon Tides, Pure Bathing Culture created a sound that’s undeniably their own with soaring synths, chiming keyboards and shimmering electric guitars that move in lockstep with bouncing drum machines.
The duo’s uplifting, self-reflective tone comes from the band’s own desire for self-discovery.
“We are deeply inspired by the relationship between the moon and the tides. Particularly in the sense that the tides and the ocean are comprised of water and the element water is often associated with human emotion,” says Hindman. “Concepts of spirituality, self actualization, mysticism, new age symbolism and pretty much anything that has to do with humans making sense of why we’re all here are all deep, deep muses for us.”
Versprille and Hindman make these heady themes seem effortless to explore, with tracks like “Twins” and “Dream The Dare” that tap in to the natural and physical mysteries that surround us. “Pendelum,” a mid-tempo album opener that pulses and shines, is the most melodic, danceable tune on the album. To get a feel for their undeniably warm, vibey sound, check out the band’s eerily-soulful 2012 cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”