Wednesday 16 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Awash in sound

Awash in sound

After a capricious escape from NYC, Pure Bathing Culture’s songs became as immersive as the Portland landscape.

Joshua Boydston January 22nd, 2014

Pure Bathing Culture with La Luz
8 p.m. Wednesday, January 29 
113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman


Photo: Parker Fitzgerald

If Moon Tides, the full-length debut of indie duo Pure Bathing Culture, reads as a breath of fresh air, then Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman accomplished what they set out to find for themselves just over two years ago.

In 2011, the pair left its cramped digs in the frenzied, urban sprawl of New York City — and the part-time jobs necessary to keep up with the astronomic expense of residing there — for the open spaces and tree-lined streets of Portland, seeking a full-time creative life. The move spawned the sort of airy, ethereal indie pop worthy of the beauty found just miles west on the Oregon coastline.

“When we made the decision, it felt almost impulsive,” Versprille said. “Our lease came up, and we thought to ourselves, ‘Let’s try something new.’ At the time, it felt crazy, but looking back, I think it had been building for some time. We couldn’t have found a better home. It’s such a beautiful city. The majesty of this landscape, it’s really influenced the way we sound.”

The music and band were gestating before the cross-country move, and though the splash of green and blue might have been the impetus in shaping Pure Bathing Culture’s sound, the duo’s acumen was shaped well before.

Hindman and Versprille clocked years collaborating with and backing other musicians in New York and still do today after their move to Rose City; the two still tour with indie folk act Vetiver, Hindman did guitar work on Damien Jurado’s Maraqopa and Versprille can be heard singing on “San Francisco,” the standout single from Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic.

The duo — who perform January 29 at Opolis — still enjoys such opportunities, but the chance to make exactly what the two want to make is invaluable and immensely rewarding. And it felt long overdue.

“To me, it’s incredible and exciting to be in the role of having creative control. It feels really good,” Versprille said. “It’s a dream come true to be in the driver’s seat.”

The twosome have used their turn in the spotlight to share sweetly sincere and sonically rich indie pop songs that have been affectionately compared to Fleetwood Mac, Cocteau Twins and Beach House since its 2012 self-titled EP. However, the thematic dealings in spirituality and mysticism and reflection on what it means to be a creature of Planet Earth drift together for Moon Tides in a way unique to Pure Bathing Culture.

Versprille credits tapping into her more primal sense of self to the album’s expansive collection of tracks, which are geared to play in tune with our environment, an anthropological mindset already being applied to a new album.

“Being in Portland or just having more space and time in our lives just gave us this opportunity to consider those sort of esoteric thoughts,” she said. “Those feelings and the sky, leaves, grass and water really made their way into the music somehow. It’s an interesting muse, and it’s fascinating to think about and create from.”

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