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“Pray For Rain” by Pure Bathing Culture

“Pray For Rain” by Pure Bathing Culture


Ever wonder how Darwin felt when he discovered an isolated ecosystem with animals that looked familiar but behaved differently than expected? Wonder no more—you’ll experience much the same astonishment listening to “Pray For Rain,” the first (and title) single from Pure Bathing Culture’s 2nd full-length album. It’s a clever thing, made of familiar elements presented in new and surprising ways. The drums, guitar, and voice all seem insular, turned inward upon themselves, like they’re held together by some gravitational field that gently sucks you in. It’s hopelessly earwormy, so be prepared to love it instantly and carry it with you for days.

It’s not alone. “Clover” uses bubbly synths and just-this-side-of-funky rhythm guitar that suggests Erasure covering Chic, but the distant echo vocals keep it oddly independent of comparison. “Palest Pearl” sounds like your favorite track from a lost John Hughes soundtrack; “Darling Save Us” flirts with St. Etienne-level twee in the best possible way; “Singer” is what Sade might sound like if she was coming up now in the coffee shop set. And “She Shakes”? Imagine a young Kate Bush jamming with Andy Partridge over a Casio beat. Every track has a delicate charm.

Pure Bathing Culture’s Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprille haven’t diverged from the sound of their excellent debut Moon Tides so much as expanded and refined it. They’re Portlanders—Portlanders!—who have a sound that is only theirs. Pray For Rain is 10 songs’ worth of inspired, perfect pop whose cumulative effect is that of genuine delight. »

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– Eric Evans

Pure Bathing Culture plays live in Portland this month with Heather Woods Broderick October 27 at Mississippi Studios