Archives for posts with tag: Purple Pilgrims

Continuing the electronic music theme from the previous post Vera Vice are an experimental electronic duo from from Tallinn, Estonia, and “Down the River” here is from their 2020 album “Vera Versa”.

Vera Vice are Helen Västrik and Ave Vellesalu. They met at the Estonian Academy of Arts and started by building their first synthesizers in old cigarette boxes, before borrowing equipment from friends and teachers and continuing experimenting with sound, and now creating their music with keyboards, drum machines, analog synths, effect pedals, etc. Prior to this their music experience was singing in choirs, so their initial lack of knowledge and skills in electronic music provided them with the “idea of unsystematic freedom and possible accidental success.” 

Vera Vice’s music inhabits a liminal space somewhere between the bass-heavy dub expansiveness of Australian duo HTRK and the more dreamy pop melodicism of NZ duo Purple Pilgrims. Their voices are an equal force in their music to the icy but colourful electronic minimalism. That idea of “unsystematic freedom” and arts background may explain why their music sounds so distinct and often bypasses the conventions of the genre taking unexpected ambient diversions and creating it’s own introspective sound-world. “Vera Versa” is my first purchase from Estonian musicians – thanks to the power of Bandcamp – and is unlikely to be my last.

purple-pilgrims-2016Day 17 of our 31 Days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon comes from Coromandel dream-pop electronica cult Purple Pilgrims

“Come join my esoteric cult/ we don’t watch TV/ don’t eat meat/ but in our arms you’ll feel complete” entreat Purple Pilgrims with menacing hyper-perfect diction in this devotional recruitment song.

This is a new track, released earlier this year, following their glorious 2016 album “Eternal Delight”. It carries some familiar Purple Pilgrims hallmarks, from the minimal electronic music which builds to a siren-warning insistent synth melody towards the end, to the eery trance-like vocals with ethereal chorus harmonies.

The combination of the words and all these musical elements turn an invitation to reside with them into something quite terrifying.

<p><a href=”″>Purple Pilgrims – Drink The Juice</a> from <a href=””>Not Not Fun</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

purple-pilgrims-2016“Is You Real?” arrives near the start of Purple Pilgrims‘ debut album “Eternal Delight” and transports you far away to another world.

It’s a perfect delight to introduce an album that lives up to its name. This track – and the whole album – carefully stirs together psychedelia, ritualistic mantra, hypnotic folk music and dreampop.

Despite the hazy charm on the surface, there is always a hint of something a little ominous or disturbing beneath the surface in their music, as with earlier offerings from Purple Pilgrims. In literature and fairy tales the concept of “Eternal Delight” always came with a catch…

“Eternal Delights” was conceived and recorded by Purple Pilgrims – sisters Clementine and Valentine Adams – in the forests of the Coromandel, east of Auckland, NZ.

The album is available on CD and LP on Not Not Fun Records.

Purple Pilgrims LP.jpg

Purple PilgrimsPurple Pilgrims  have just released an LP ‘Eternal Delight’ – on 26 February on the US label Not Not Fun. Here’s what may be an atypical song from them and from the album.

“Thru Evry Cell” is the most conventionally song-structured recording I’ve heard so far from Purple Pilgrims. But even here they manage to sound utterly dislocated from everyday reality, particularly the way the voices are almost lost in a narcotic haze of lush reverb.

This is great – it’s breezy, full of pop hooks and a welcoming production. But at the same time it manages to still carry some not-quite-right menace in a similar way to Julee Cruise’s “Twin Peaks” soundtrack songs. In fact if David Lynch is looking for some music for the proposed new series of “Twin Peaks” he would find a perfect fit with Purple Pilgrims.

Maybe it’s just a sense from listening to  their previous recordings, but it seems like there’s a shadow behind every apparently bright and colourful sounding moment here and a sense of foreboding that there is something lurking in those shadows which seeks each listeners’ soul.

Here’s a Radio NZ video of the song performed in their Coromandel base.

There’s a video for another song from the album – “Forever” – on Vimeo here. Can’t wait to hear the whole album now.


Purple Pilgrims - source

Purple Pilgrims – source

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.