Duo Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman are Pure Bathing Culture, the time-traveling indie rock band currently residing in Portland, Oregon. Their 1980s aesthetic is so genuine that shifting time and space explains not only the big hair and fog machines used in glorious excess in the music video for “All Night,” but also the dreamy tone of their synth and electric guitar. They are captivating to modern music audiences, having toured by request with Death Cab for Cutie, Lucius and The Shins. This is not some throwback band; yes, their sound is nostalgic, but by wholeheartedly embracing their choices, they are creating modern classics from another era, hence: time-travellers. As they might put it, they having been honing a sonic virtue.
The present isn’t always easy for time-travellers. In the last several years, they were not only dropped by their label, Partisan Records, but also parted ways with their management team. They are resilient though, as demonstrated in the lyrics to “Thin Growing Things”: “Lift for love and live for something/ Lift for love and live through something/ Lift for love and live through something else.” Together with local legend, Tucker Martine (R.E.M., Modest Mouse, The Decemberists), they crafted their latest album Night Pass (Infinite Companion) with meticulous care to serve as a time-machine, so that any listener can go back to a time of easy listening radio hits with sad lyrics that make you feel good.
If you’d like to join them in person, don’t miss them at Mississippi Studios October 23. Whether you get drawn in by Sarah’s dramatic performance or Daniel’s easeful mastery of his instrument, there is something enthralling about being there with them as they co-create their very personal, very beautiful music together. In such an intimate space, with such great sound, it truly will be a journey.