Purson: The Circle And The Blue Door

Sumptuous psych to stir the memory

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In contrast to the majority of musical scenes springing up of late, the current retro/occult/psych alliance has been noticeable for the strike rate of fiercely individual and far-reaching visions it’s given rise to. But, even by the kaleidoscopic standards of their peers, there’s a potency to Cambridge’s Purson, a striking, irreducible otherness that suggests new, vivid standard bearers are upon us.

The clues were strewn throughout last year’s Rocking Horse seven-inch. A sepia-steeped song about nostalgic portals and the intrinsic, magical worlds they re-awaken, its spooky, spider-legged cadences and wide-awake reveries made the point as much as the lyrics ever did.

The Circle… proves how fully fledged those worlds are. Crossing its threshold is akin to coming across some eerie, long-abandoned funfair whirring back to life, from the floating carousel grooves of The Contract, tiptoe-through-the-castle pace of Spiderwood Farm to the lush, weaver’s spell of Tempest And The Tide, all spun around Rosalie Cunningham’s sternly alluring, Siouxsie Sioux-tinged vocals (including a nod to the Banshee’s take on Dear Prudence).

But for all the elegant, immediacy of every track here, they all also echo from afar, linking back to lost, enchanted worlds still flickering on the hazy outskirts of consciousness.

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.