Live Concert Photography: Purple Pilgrims with L’Rain Deradoorian and C. Spencer Yeh at Union Pool 11/5/19
With the release of 2016’s full-length debut Eternal Delight, which was recorded in the wilds of Tapu, New Zealand, the New Zealand sibling duo Purple Pilgrims — Valentine and Clementine Nixon — received attention internationally. Interestingly, the duo’s sophomore album Perfumed Earth found the duo returning to the same wooded sanctuary in Taku; but according to the Nixon Sisters, they were in in a calmer, more contemplative headspace. “Internal white noise subsided and we really started to appreciate the peace of our environment,” the duo says of the recording process of an album that they’ve described as “kind of like a rebirth.”
Released earlier this year through renowned Kiwi label Flying Nun Records, the Nixon Sisters’ sophomore album found them fashioning what they’ve dubbed “a very modern/mobile band” that combined local recordings with inspired long-distance overdubs from a cast of collaborators including frequent and longtime collaborator Gary War, who contributed bass and synths from hotel rooms while he was touring America with John Maus; Jimmy Mac, Lorde’s keyboardist, contributed drums; Joshua Kennedy, former Surf City guitarist contributed guitar work; improvisational experimentalist Jeff Henderson contributed saxophone on “Delphiniums In Harmony / Two Worlds Away”; and Roy Montgomery contributed expressionistic guitar work on “Ruinous Splendour.” The material was then mixed by Thomas Healy, utilizing his sizable collection of vintage tape machines to create an overall sound that’s spacious and sensual, swooning and spellbound while being a major sonic step forward for the Kiwi sibling duo.
Purple Pilgrims played a three week Union Pool residency last month and I managed to catch the first night of their residency, which featured L’Rain, Deradoorian and C. Spencer Yeh. The Kiwi duo will start 2020 with a month-long tour of the UK and EU. Check out tour dates and photos from the show below.
EU / UK 2020
14/1 – London, UK @ Shacklewell Arms
15/1 – Bristol, UK @ The Crofter’s Rights
16/1 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
17/1 – Aberdeen UK @ Tunnels 1
18/1 – Edinburgh,, UK @ Henry’s Cellar Bar
19/1 – Manchester, UK @ YES Basement
20/1 – Coventry, UK @ The Tin at the Coal Vaults
22/1 – Antwerp, BE @ Het Bos
23/1 – Den Bosch, NL @ Willem Twee
24/1 – Leeuwarden, NL @ Podium Asteriks
25/1 – Odense, DK @ PåTaget
27/1 – Copenhagen, DK @ Støberiet
28/1 – Göteborg, SWE @ Koloni
29/1 – Nässjö, SWE @ Sörängen
30/1 – Helsingborg, SWE @ Favela
31/1 – Aalborg, DK @ Northern Winter Beats Festival
1/2 – Fredericia, DK @ Tøjhuset
2/2 – Berlin, DE @ West Germany
3/2 – Köln, DE @ Tsunami Club
4/2 – Bruxelles, BE @ Botanique
5/2 – Paris, FR @ L’International
6/2 – Lille, FR @ La Bulle Cafe
7/2 – Ramsgate, UK @ Ramsgate Music Hall
8/2 – Chelmsford, UK @ Hotbox
L’Rain is a critically applauded, Brooklyn-based one woman studio recording project that specializes in a soulful sound featuring looped guitar arpeggios, bubbling and burbling synths and vocal harmonies reminiscent of Moses Sumney and Madison McFerrin. Live, the act features its mysterious frontwoman with Buz Donald (drums), Ben Katz (synths, sax) and Devin Starks (bass).
Angel Deradoorian is an Orangevale, CA-born, Los Angeles-based Armenian-American multi-instrumentalist, grew up in a creative household in which both of her parents are artists and her older sister Arlene is also a musician. The Orangevale, CA-born, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist got into music at a very young age, learning violin and piano when she was five. When Deradoorian turned 16, she decided to leave school and pursue a career in music. Eventually, she wound up in Brooklyn, where she joined Dirty Projectors and played a key role in the writing and recording of their critically acclaimed album Bitte Orca. (In fact, Deradoorian may be best known for her work as a member of Dirty Projectors.) While she was a member of the acclaimed indie act, Deradoorian released her debut EP 2009’s Mind Raft. She also recorded a track with Discovery — Vampire Weekend‘s Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot‘s Wes Miles — that appeared on their album LP. By 2011, Animal Collective chose the Orangevale-born multi-instrumentalist to perform at their curated All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival. She also released a split 7 inch with Albert McCloud and joined Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, a band which featured Ponytail‘s Jeremy Hyman. By the following year, Deradoorian relocated to Los Angeles with Tare to focus on her solo career and other projects. 2015 saw the release of her full-length debut, The Expanding Flower Planet. That year saw her contribute backing vocals on Brandon Flowers‘ solo effort The Desired Effect. She followed that up with 2017’s Eternal Recurrence EP, an effort which cemented the project’s ambient sound.
Violinist C. Spencer Yeh is best known as the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded solo recording project Burning Star Core. Initially started when he was in Cincinnati, the project arose from Yeh’s desire to create music that broke barriers and challenged traditional perceptions of music with Yeh crafting material that drew from musique concrete, ambient, drone and psychedelic music. Yeh began releasing music through his own label, Drone Disco via cassette and CDR. But By 2002, Burning Core’s A Brighter Summer Day received wider distribution. 2006’s The Very Heart of the World received praise from Pitchfork while the following year’s Operator Dead . . . Post Abandoned was compared favorably to Soft Machine and Rake. 2008’s Challenger continued a lengthy run of critically applauded material.