A reflective celebration
Few artists personify their names as holistically as Pure Bathing Culture. Named after a hot spring’s deluxe spa treatment, the Portland-based indie pop duo has carved a distinct, genre-bending niche for itself since its inception in 2015. The band’s characteristically ethereal, trance-inducing vibes are more magnetic than ever on its latest EP, Carrido.
Consisting of only four songs, Carrido is exceptionally low maintenance. Listeners will be soothed into submission by dreamy synths, crooning vocals and an understated rhythm section. For fans of virtually any genre, the EP is a welcome breath of fresh air. Carrido encourages listeners to kick off their shoes, forget their troubles and bask in the shade amidst the heat of the summer.
Of course, given their affinity for expressive names, Pure Bathing Culture was equally intentional with Carrido. An anagram of late musician and producer Richard Swift’s birth name, Ricardo, Carrido is an ode to a lost friend. The duo worked with Swift extensively on both their debut EP and first album, recording Carrido in the very same studio and releasing it on the second anniversary of his passing.
Singer Sarah Versprille expanded on the EP’s emotional significance in a recent statement:
“For us, Carrido became a world where we could be with our friend again, a place where we could be together one more time doing what we love. It’s a place where we can make sense of the things that happen that feel tragic and inexplicably heartbreaking…It’s a place where we can go to find our way back to ourselves again.”
Tracks “Something Silver” and “Midnight Minutes” capture Versprille’s sentiments most effectively. “Midnight Minutes” longs for simpler, happier times, recounting the innumerable late-night recording sessions the duo spent with Swift. “Something Silver” delves deeper into the group’s creative process, contrasting the mortality of humans with the immortality of art.
Though dreamy and breezy on the surface, Carrido carries considerable emotional weight. Rather than dwelling on emptiness or despair, Pure Bathing Culture grieves through remembrance. After all, what better way to honor a lost friend’s legacy than celebrating a life well lived? Carrido doesn’t cry, moan or wallow, but instead shares a candid inside look into Pure Bathing Culture’s cherished memories. The result is at times joyful, nostalgic, poignant and humorous.