Drink the Juice, Watch the Video and Join the Surreal Cult of Purple Pilgrims

Ahead of their appearance at Auckland Laneway, we catch up with sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon.

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Jan 26 2017, 10:04pm

Purple Pilgrims, the avant-garde duo made up of sisters Valentine and Clementine Nixon, cracked the NOISEY 100 twice with ethereal and blissful songs from their debut album. They now present a brand new single, "Drink The Juice", which you can watch the premiere of below.

The pair switched things up this time by calling on some friends for a little help with the single. Nick Malkin from LA Vampires and Sun Araw jumped in on percussion, while indie veteran Jorge Elbrecht was brought in to mix the song. Eternal Delight, their debut record, is not even a year old, but already you can hear hints of the band pushing forward in a new direction. And that's no better exemplified than in lyrics such as: "We don't watch TV / don't eat meat / but in our arms you'll feel complete."Welcome to the cult of Purple Pilgrims. It's as surreal as you might expect.

We caught up with them before their appearance at Auckland Laneway to find out more.

NOISEY: Most of your music if self-produced, but this time you took a new approach by enlisting the help of Nick Malkin aka Afterhours [LA Vampires, Sun Araw]. What prompted the change?
Purple Pilgrims: We've always produced, played and recorded everything ourselves, but with this song it felt like a natural evolution to bring some more minds in. We've admired Nick's musicianship for a while now and knew he'd enhance the percussion in a new direction that we couldn't traverse on our own. 

We also brought in Jorge Elbrecht–who has worked with the likes of Ariel Pink, No Joy, and Caroline Polachek–to mix for us. It was amazing to not be staring at a computer screen for hours on end! But more importantly it was wonderful to have his fresh perspective and skills. 

Is this a sign that another album is on the way? 
Yes. We have so many songs written, plus bits recorded here and there that are really starting to resemble an album. We're chipping away and something will definitely materialise in the not so distant future. 

What drew you towards working with director Frances Carter on the video'?
We've known Frances for a little while now, and really love and respect her work. Her photos and film always have such a lush quality, and she understands light so instinctively. It was quite a spontaneous shoot; the song has such a specific narrative/theme, which made everything flow really naturally. We filmed over a day in our garden in the deep Coromandel bush a few steps away from where we wrote and recorded the song. 

We're used to seeing you in more of an intimate setting. Can we expect anything out of the ordinary from you at Laneway?
Yes! Laneway is definitely a contrast from dive bars and art galleries. We actually always think context is one of the most interesting aspects of playing live music. You have your set of songs and must be more or less uncompromising regarding the environment in which you're playing. In life you might consciously or sub-consciously adapt your behaviour to your environment, but you can't really do that with music. 

So I guess we'll just enjoying playing our songs as best we can like always, only this time we'll be playing in our favourite park with a few more people than the crowd we'd usually pull! Piripi Mackie and Siobhan Leilani, who are in the video, are going to be performing with us. We loved how the video came out and thought why not recreate that live? We think it's gonna look pretty magic. 

Catch Purple Pilgrims at Auckland Laneway Jan 30.

For more, follow Purple Pilgrims on Facebook.