Purity Ring – WOMB

Megan James and Corin Roddick are happy to operate within their comfort zone on WOMB; it's a welcome return for Purity Ring

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 30 Mar 2020
  • Purity Ring – WOMB
Album title: WOMB
Artist: Purity Ring
Label: 4AD
Release date: 3 Apr

When the sweeping, icy rush of synths flood into the beginning of rubyinsides, the opener to Purity Ring’s new album, it feels like the duo are starting in media res, as if they had never been away. Yet it’s been five years since Megan James and Corin Roddick released their last album Another Eternity.

WOMB has been entirely written, recorded, produced and mixed by the pair. The control which James and Roddick have over these ten tracks is evident in their occasional forays into new territory, such as the music box introduction to stardew or the undulating basslines and stripped-back piano in the hook of i like the devil. The latter brings James’ words and vocals – which are as intriguing as ever – further to the forefront.

Yet although they sometimes dip their toes into slightly different waters, WOMB still very much bears the duo’s hallmarks. There’s very little room for light and shade amongst their wall of cavernous synths, and while this can generate an evocative mood (the bursts of percussion and gloomy electronics of pink lightning does give the impression of thunderstorms) it can sometimes feel like James and Roddick are happy to operate within their comfort zone. Nevertheless, fans of Purity Ring fans will undoubtedly find WOMB to be a welcome return.

Listen to: pink lightning