New York-born duo Purr continues to share new singles with the release of their latest track “Hesper,” a shuddering power ballad that will have you swooning. Comprised of the talents of Eliza Barry Callahan and Jack Staffen, their debut album Like New arrived back in 2020 as an introduction to their psych-pop reveries. They returned just last year with a string of singles that began with the melancholic anthemics of “Many Days” — a soaring reminder of the buoyant emotion carried by the band’s illustrious soundscapes and Callahan’s soul-stirring vocals.
Please note: This post may contain affiliate links.
But it’s their newest track “Hesper” that you need to plug into one that eerily channels Karen O as Callahan’s luminous voice materializes against a bleak backdrop of a moody 80s Linn drum. As the song continues though, her vocals are joined by the quaking fall of percussion and acoustic melodies that slowly crescendo alongside. As with much of Purr’s music, there’s a theatrical quality that’s hard to shake, a momentum that’s owed just as much to Callahan’s surging words as it is the song’s collapsing medley of etherealness.
“It’s a fear portrait / Are you scared of it,” they murmur glowingly. “Can you reach me in the light year / Do you want this.” Sung from the perspective of a dying star to those looking up at it — “Hesper” inspires as much world-weariness as it does a quietly fathomless beauty. And it also highlights what’s so consistently inspiring about the band’s music: when you let the billowing melodies of any Purr track sweep you away you find yourself caught up in a swell of cathartic sonics and melodics.
“‘Hesper’ is written from the perspective of a star — a star that has a one-way conversation with someone looking up at it — asking what they’re looking for, wishing for, what they’re afraid of, what they’ve had enough of,” said Callahan. “This star, it seems, was once a person too.”
If you found yourself enamored with “Hesper” make sure you check out the rest of the music Purr has released this year. Including the off-kilter and jauntily led “Cave” and the shoegaze stroller “The Natural.”
4/17 – Washington DC – 9:30 Club #
4/19 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry #
4/20 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony #
4/21 – New York, NY – Webster Hall #
4/22 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts #
# with Ruston Kelly
Words: Steven Ward
Listen to “Hesper” the new single from Purr below!