Some may find it ironic that the two twenty-somethings responsible for New York band, Purr, only listen to music “made before 1978.” It could be, but it isn’t. The duo, comprised of singers/songwriters Eliza Callahan and Jack Steffan, are simply too talented at—and too well-versed in—’60s psychedelic pop to be accused of appropriation.
Their debut album, Like New, suggests numerous influences—from their self-proclaimed similarity to The Mamas and The Papas, to the breathy, Stevie Nicks-esque vocals emphasized in “Giant Night” and “Avenue Bliss”. But don’t expect Like New to be predictable; Purr incorporates jazz and synth-pop instrumentals on “Take You Back” and “Bad Advice” respectively.
The album release coincided with uncertainties that, to Callahan and Steffan, marked the “tide change” that typically accompanies life as a twenty-something. Interestingly enough, Like New does feel like a sneaking wave. Unexpected transitions between different musical genres and vocalists parallel the surprises Callahan and Steffan have experienced in their lives and the “push and pull” they emphasize in their music as a result is powerful and stimulating.
Fans of ’60s folk and pop will find Purr’s music familiar, but the band’s commentary on the painful pursuit of identity will appeal to all.