You stand close to the base of a waterfall. You cast your gaze upward, but you can’t see from where the water spills. Your eyes catch a glimpse of white. Did someone just peak out from behind the roaring tower? You follow a jagged path behind the wall of liquid, and you see a towel on the ground. You place your hand on a stone brighter than the others, and the roaring dissipates. You stand waist-deep in a heated pool surrounded by people, relaxing . . .
Pop music gets a bad rap. Sure, a large amount of it is sterile and devoid of real emotion, but even those radio fodder tracks tend to pack whopping hooks in some form or another. This band flies the banner of pop proudly, and they do so with euphonious beauty and potent, transparent feeling. Pray For Rain is the newest full-length from Portland duo Pure Bathing Culture, made up of Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman.
These songs are blanketed by a sanguine atmosphere of warmth. Hindman’s sun-drenched guitars, pulsing bass, and charming drum/drum-machine rhythm combinations work in tandem to create grooving, tropical environments, and Versprille’s ethereal keyboards fill the compositions with a watery aura, while her dreamy vocals take center stage with crystalline, melodically-superb hooks.
Looking beneath the glossy surface, one discovers the elements that truly set this band apart from the pack. Versprille’s lyrics encompass gloomy, poignant topics, things like navigating adulthood, communication, human connection, and the perils that come with each. These artists delve into difficult subjects with melodious grace, and that should be celebrated. If you’re seeking dreamy, hook-laden pop, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)