Canadian Music Corner: Zeus & Purity Ring

Travis Persaud, Contributor Ω

Running with Canadian music powerhouses like Jason Collett and Afie Jurvanen (better known as Bahamas) it’s no surprise that Zeus is closer and closer to becoming a household name. Through Toronto connections, the group released its 2010 debut album, Say Us, on the Arts & Crafts label.

With its breezy indie-pop, Zeus achieves a timeless sound. It’s easy to liken the tunes to those of previous generations. As if playing the part, band member Neil Quin has a convincing John Lennon look about him.

Following the trend of the quirky but fun music video started with “Marching Through Your Head” off of Say Us, Zeus outdid themselves with the food puppet musicians versus dogs scenario seen in their “Are You Gonna Waste My Time” video, a single off the sophomore album, Busting Visions, released in March 2012.

On April 2, Zeus is set to release a deluxe edition of Busting Visions boasting seven cover songs. The covers will also be released as an EP under the moniker Cover Me. As of the March 4 EP announcement, Cover Me will feature songs by Michael Jackson, R. Kelly and Stone Temple Pilots.

Purity Ring
Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

They may have less than 20 songs under their belt, but Edmonton electro-space-pop duo Purity Ring has shown huge promise to come with music critics and fans hoping for a repeat performance of 2012’s Shrines.

With female-led vocals over a dark but melodic electronic base, Purity Ring is not dissimilar to another breakout artist from last year, Montreal’s Grimes. However, vocalist Megan James has a lighter sound to her singing with clearer lyrics and Corin Roddick mixes ’80s synth-pop sounds with modern production values. Imagine “Tainted Love” if it got a dark remake and slowed down rhythmically.

Both were part of a larger band prior to Purity Ring, which came about as Roddick played around with electronic production and asked James to provide vocals on the first track, released in 2011, “Ungirthed.” From there the buzz around the duo helped build momentum in to the 11-song Shrines. While Roddick is still working on his electronic productions another piece has been released on YouTube, a cover of Soulja Boy’s “Grammy.”

Thanks to the Internet Purity Ring has quickly earned an international audience and is hitting locales in England and Australia right now, which may not be a bad thing as Roddick’s original compositions started while on tour.

However, if you’re interested in checking out these dreamy, dark, electro-pop newcomers, try the original, “Ungirthed.”

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