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Album Review
Eternal Delight

Eternal Delight
by Purple Pilgrims

Not Not Fun

Review Date
4th March 2016
Reviewed by
Louisa Kasza

Eternal Delight is the debut full-length album from sisters Valentine and Clementine Adams, apparently of Traveller stock (as in, the United Kingdom’s version of the Romani) by way of Christchurch, Hong Kong and, more recently, Tapu in the Coromandel. Collectively known as Purple Pilgrims, the duo come from a rich tradition of folklore and folk music, and also may have spent considerable time reading during a childhood that was spent shuttling between New Zealand and China - both influences which come through strongly in this album. Folk and pagan elements repeatedly rise to the surface in the melodies and rhythms of tracks such as the chanting ‘Yes’, and an occult, transcendental vibe pervades the entire album.

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.


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