Purple Pilgrims - source http://www.purplepilgrims.net/

Purple Pilgrims – source http://www.purplepilgrims.net/

Time to get weird. Not too weird. Just out-of-body-experience type weird. Day 22 of song-a-day-May NZ Music Month madness steps outside this realm with a heavenly offering from Purple Pilgrims.

I first discovered Purple Pilgrims back in 2012 when I heard their single on the exploratory Pseudo Arcana label. Purple Pilgrims were described by Pseudo Arcana at the time as “Super-fuzzy psychedelic outsider dream pop from the ex-Christchurch now Hong Kong based sister duo of Clementine and Valentine Nixon.”

That Pseudo Arcana single was distressed lo-fi music, sounding to me, from unfortunate personal experience, similar to the way auditory sensations change when you are just about to lapse into unconsciousness and vomit from food poisoning. I commented as much on it at the time when it was posted online. I meant that as a compliment (really, I did), but Purple Pilgrims read the comment and took exception to my description.

If you’ve ever fainted, you may understand how your vision goes a bit weird and kind of tunnel-like while your hearing – or maybe just perception of sounds by the brain resulting from changes to blood pressure – gets all reverb-like with a kind of infinite feedback delay loop. I just wished I hadn’t experienced severe food poisoning to discover this. It was right at the start of a 14 hour flight from Auckland to Los Angeles too, which sucked, believe me. Although, if you’ve ever wondered how to get a whole row of seats to yourself on an international flight, try passing out and vomiting on yourself.

Anyway, in 2014 Purple Pilgrims sound a lot different. The elements are all still in-tact – woozy psychedelic dream-pop looping reverb & delay into infinity – but the melodic song structure here is more developed and the sound fidelity much improved. I’m no longer reminded of my last moments of consciousness at the start of that flight. Instead I am transported to another somewhat liquid and languid world – an ‘Earthly Heaven’ indeed. This has a real dreamlike quality with words indecipherable in the reverb and spectral yelps in abundance.

‘Earthly Heaven/Joon’ is from a split LP you can order from Upset The Rhythm here. Purple Pilgrims also play as part of 95bFM’s Fancy New Band showcase at the Kings Arms, Auckland on Saturday 31 May along with another PopLib favourite Shunkan.

Peace, Purple Pilgrims. Peace.

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