Pure Bathing Culture @ Mercury Lounge, 6/7/13

Pure Bathing CultureThe East River turned itself upside down over the Lower East Side on Delancey, men and women huddling under broken umbrellas, waiting for a taxi or a clearing in the sky to inch along. Inside the Mercury Lounge, the indie-pop outfit Pure Bathing Culture calmy crafted an entirely removed atmosphere of gleaming synths, pleasant harmonies, and cushiony bass grooves.

If there ever was a sound you’d want to tuck yourself into on a long and rainy evening, this would be the one. The project of Portland transplants Daniel Hindman and Sarah Verspille (by way of Brooklyn), Pure Bathing Culture delighted the audience stalwarts at Merc’ with an early set of dreamy-synth tunes. There were few surprises – as expected from a group with only one EP to their name. The musicians (drums, bass, vocals/synth, and guitar) played through their set with a collective coolness in line with more established and equally professional acts. Sarah sang her “hits” with a faithfulness to the record and some early-60s Coltrane-like rhythmic inflections. All very well done. A landscape unto itself (imagine waves nipping at the rocky Oregon coast), Pure Bathing Culture erupt into walls of gorgeous reverb and vocals, but take the time to explore the groove lead towards unknown directions by song’s end.

With a new full-length record set for release August 20th on Partisan, we know there is much to look forward to. In the meantime, set sail within the world of the Pure Bathing Culture sound with their immersive track “Ivory Coast.”

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About Matthew Herzfeld

Matt Herzfeld is a freelance writer, music supervisor and musician, and serves as Music Project Manager for the French Music Office at the French Embassy in the US. He is based in New York City.
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