A duo with a knack for making music that sounds unearthly yet familiar, Pure Bathing Culture borrows from the glassy dream pop of the Cocteau Twins and the mystique and surefire hooks of Fleetwood Mac, adding touches of chillwave and R&B. The beautiful strangeness of Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman’s music dominated their 2013 debut album Moon Tides; on later albums, such as 2015′s Pray for Rain and 2019′s Night Pass, they streamlined their sound and put their catchy songwriting front and center.
Vocalist/keyboardist Versprille and guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Hindman first met at college in New Jersey in the late ’90s, ended up dating a decade later, and joined the indie folk band Vetiver. The pair began writing music together in 2009 by playing with loops but soon took their work more seriously. After they moved to Portland from Brooklyn, they connected with Richard Swift, who produced their 2012 self-titled EP for Father/Daughter Records. Pure Bathing Culture reunited with Swift for their debut album, Moon Tides, which emphasized the influence of Fleetwood Mac and Benny Mardones on their music. Partisan Records released the album in August 2013.
For the Moon Tides tour, Versprille and Hindman added bassist Zachary Tillman and drummer Brian Wright to the lineup. Wright and Tillman also joined them in the studio to record the band’s second album. Produced by John Congleton — who has also worked with St. Vincent and Angel Olsen, among others — Pray for Rain arrived on Partisan in October 2015. After several years of touring that saw Pure Bathing Culture hit the road with acts including Lucius, Chvrches, and the Shins, Versprille and Hindman began work on their third album in 2017. While in the studio with Tucker Martine, they also released their own version of the Blue Nile’s 1989 album Hats. In April 2019, Pure Bathing Culture issued the ’80s-tinged Night Pass on Infinite Companion. The group returned the following year with an EP, Carrido, dedicated to their friend and former collaborator Richard Swift, who died in 2018. ~ Tim Sendra & Heather Phares