Selected press / reviews :

“light years away from most artists who combine folk influences with electronic instrumentation … their soprano vocals to ring out with a timeless purity that evokes Judy Collins or Sandy Denny … While the Nixon sisters' music reaches otherworldly heights on Perfumed Earth, their songwriting has never felt so grounded … Purple Pilgrims give their spiritual journey an abundance of hooks and a lilting melody that they share like two sides of the same soul … The effortless way that Purple Pilgrims unite the mystical and down-to-earth, the spiritual and the sensual, on songs like these make Perfumed Earth both fresher, and more eternal, than anything they've done before.” -AllMusic

“Listening to Purple Pilgrims is like wandering a strange and beautiful place” -Pitchfork

“the duo craft otherworldly electronic sounds cloaked in magic, mystery, and romance. There’s an earthiness to the group’s soft tendrils of guitar and soft fog of reverb. But while the record’s nine tracks evoke the dreamiest of dreampop, there’s darkness buried just beneath … delivering tragic tales of gothic romance with light, ethereal vocals, setting them against delicate arrangements. Think Kate Bush, if she collaborated with Beach House.” -Bandcamp Daily

“an alluring combination of hazy soundscape and songwriting finesse … gently relentless rhythm and a vocal melody that takes unexpectedly innovative turns … recall the taut 1960s pop of Marianne Faithfull or Mary Hopkin, or even the work of Phil Spector, yet they also have the mood of dream-pop pioneers such as Cocteau Twins and Galaxie 500.” -Sydney Morning Herald

“with a penchant for experimentally tinged dream-pop, a sound that’s beautifully realized on their sophomore full-length Perfumed Earth … from the gorgeous vocals to the depth and warmth of the songs, this is very much the Nixon’s record and much more than a standard excursion into the ethereal. Indeed, in textural terms, these nine selections climb a few notches above the norm … Pop splendor is increasingly the fruits of the Nixon’s artistic labor, with “Sensing Me” the sorta tune that will inevitably draw comparisons to Kate Bush. One crucial difference is the elevated vocal harmony; hey, it’s like having two Kate Bush’s on hand, and that circumstance blends well with the non-clichéd and often subtle synth-pop current that runs throughout the disc.” -The Vinyl District

“I felt like the first 20 seconds of this song had me circling the track, watching it unfold from above as some sort of celestial being. Of course, that’s probably what Purple Pilgrims would want for any listener, as they craft this spaced pop that seems to expand beyond the realm of our own universe. There’s core lyrics, but they’re accented by this angelic haunt that sort of drifts in and out of the mix, as if that core vocal is this central force from which the whole of their musical galaxy expands.” -Austin Town Hall

“There are plenty of bliss-pop bands out there that can make a fairly agreeable, reverb-drenched, swirling wonderland, but the quality that made Purple Pilgrims stand out was its approach to vocals. Purple Pilgrims’ vocals evoke a gentle ‘60s folk nostalgia while being unafraid to project a personality—think Judy Collins mixed with the delicate vibrato of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser… On “Ancestors Watching”, alto and soprano vocal parts alternate as the song strolls along, taking its time, happy to linger and savor its own moments, and in “Sensing Me”, the highest notes are reserved for its fleeting expressive peaks in its chorus, with a shivery delicious effect for the listener, while pop-song lyrical clichés are used unabashedly as emotional shorthand.” -The Pulse

“Haunting vocals and otherworldly electronic sounds reminiscent of Enya, knock the wind out of your sails on Perfumed Earth … In short, if you are expecting cheerful undertones, I’m afraid songs about life, death and loneliness permeate throughout the album lyrically … Perfumed Earth is wonderfully ambient and contemplatively rewarding at the same time.” -Rearview Mirror

“On a first listen, a flurry of adjectives flow: ghostly, hazy, ethereal, mystical, angelic, spectral, sensual. A quick poke through the press materials reveals everyone has said the same. A victory for Purple Pilgrims in crafting a record so steeped in a specific mood that readings of it are firmly reined in” -The Guardian

“The combination of Eternal Delight's sleek instrumentation and ancient-sounding melodies is half sci-fi, half fairytale and completely fascinating..Purple Pilgrims haven't lost any of their spellcasting powers by refining their approach on Eternal Delight -- they've only become more alluring and haunting.” -All Music

“Purple Pilgrims' sheer, lapping sound worlds, melded with ghostly vocals, are the sound of traversing unknown distances; the melodies are choral, but feel solitary too. ’Skin Sight' could well have been Laura Palmer's funeral dirge, its picked surf guitar reminiscent of the way that Lynch and Badalamenti were able to conjure something glorious and unsettling all at once” -The Quietus

“Eternal Delightis a masterful full-length debut from a very in-tune duo who have honed their recording and performance skills across several limited edition cult releases.. An exercise in crystal-toned psychedelic dream-pop excellence” -The 405

“..dark, spaceous, fantastical music rooted in mysticism and wonder, weaving ethereal tales of ancient, mythological grandeur..creating a desolate atmosphere of spectral, haunting tones.” -The Line of Best Fit

"Eternal Delight also evokes the Western canon of literature and ideas at every turn, from the album title’s nod to William Blake’s line "Energy is Eternal Delight" to the sound of a frenziedly scrawled love letter that makes up the opening track through to a later evocation of the Oracle of Delphi in ‘False Friend (Pythia)’. The Adams sisters also pay homage to the more modern canon of pop music as well as to their folk roots, with elements of Beach House, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins and, more generally, ceremonial dream-pop with a smattering of psychedelic funk. A sense of physical and geographical place also shines through, that place often being the Coromandel – or more specifically, the bush at Tapu on a cool, perhaps ghost-and-UFO-ridden night. Wooden, organic-sounding percussion and naturalistic sounds of flowing water complement the otherworldly elements on tracks like 'Penglai', which bears the name of a historic seaside fortress town in Shandong Province, China – a reminder that while Purple Pilgrims do nineteenth-century-England-does-ancient-Greece romanticism very well, they are nevertheless a thoroughly modern and internationally influenced act." -Under The Radar


Biography:

Purple Pilgrims is the experimental dream pop project of Clementine and Valentine Nixon, a pair of sisters who explore the concepts of synthesized nature and ancient futurism in their music. The Nixons combine their crystalline vocals -- which evoke the ethereal beauty and wisdom of legends like Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins -- with gleaming synths and hazy guitars that sound both futuristic and eternal. On their earliest releases, Purple Pilgrims cloaked their songs in layers of lo-fi distortion. Gradually, they stripped the noise away on 2017's Eternal Delight and 2019's Perfumed Earth, both of which allowed their distinctive mix of folk inspirations and synthetic sounds to become as transporting as possible.

Clementine and Valentine Nixon were raised in Hong Kong and New Zealand's South Island by a family whose musical roots run deep: their great-grandfather, Davie Stewart, was recorded by Alan Lomax. In 2011, the Nixon sisters returned to China after the Christchurch earthquake and began making music. Once the duo moved back to New Zealand, they began playing shows in galleries and other Christchurch venues; their self-titled debut single of ethereal, fuzzed-out folk arrived that year on PseudoArcana. Purple Pilgrims then toured with artists including Ariel Pink and Gary War, with whom they shared a split album released by Upset the Rhythm in 2013.

After signing to Not Not Fun, the sisters returned to New Zealand to make their first full-length. Recorded in a shed on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula, 2016's Eternal Delight marked a more streamlined, cleanly recorded version of Purple Pilgrims' otherworldly sound. The following year, the duo issued the single "Drink the Juice," which featured percussion by LA Vampires and Sun Araw's Nick Malkin and mixing courtesy of Jorge Elbrecht. For their second album, Purple Pilgrims returned to the space where they recorded Eternal Delight and also collaborated with Gary War, saxophonist Jeff Henderson and guitarist Roy Montgomery. The results were the crystal-clear meditations of Perfumed Earth, which arrived on the veteran New Zealand indie label Flying Nun in August 2019. -Heather Phares, Rovi


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