Moon Tides by Pure Bathing Culture (Review)

Pure Bathing Culture’s music does contain that ’80s vibe that’s all the rage thanks to chillwave, etc., but these songs are more than exercises in musical nostalgia.
Moon Tides, Pure Bathing Culture

Pure Bathing Culture’s label describes their music as “optimistic modern music for souls who seek to explore the infinite” — which, once you’re done with the cynical eye-rolling and, y’know, actually listen to their music, does seem rather apropos for the starry-eyed dreampop that Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprille conjure so effortlessly out of thin air. Consider “Pendulum”, the first single from their debut album Moon Tides.

The sweeping acoustic guitars, the crisp programming, Versprille’s alluring vocals… they all come together to sound like something Velour 100 might’ve written were they still around and fans of Washed Out and Chad Valley. In other words, a very fetching song that brings to mind all of the usual summer music listening clichés, though clichés are certainly the furthest thing from the duo’s mind.

Pure Bathing Culture’s music does contain that shimmering, atmospheric ’80s vibe that’s all the rage now thanks to chillwave, glo-fi, and other similar genres (“Scotty” is a prime example of this), but the duo’s songs are just that… songs first and exercises in musical nostalgia second. What’s more, these songs are full of delightful little moments that have been captured by über-producer Richard Swift, from an unexpected vocal flutter from Versprille to a perfectly placed guitar note by Hindman (who subscribes to the Don Peris school of guitar philosophy as much as Kevin Shields’).

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