Premiere: Purr Shares New Single “Who Is Afraid of Blue” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, September 28th, 2023  

Premiere: Purr Shares New Single “Who Is Afraid of Blue”

Sophomore LP Who Is Afraid of Blue is Out June 2nd via ANTI-

Jun 01, 2023 Photography by Shervin Lainez
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Tomorrow, New York indie duo Purr are back with their sophomore record, Who Is Afraid of Blue. The duo, comprised of Eliza Barry Callahan and Jack Staffen, debuted in 2020 with their full-length album Like New. That album saw them pairing with producer Jonathan Rado, who has previously worked on records with Weyes Blood, Father John Misty, and The Lemon Twigs. He brought that same signature vintage sheen to the band’s debut, referencing back to ‘70s rock and pop classics.

In contrast, Who Is Afraid of Blue adopts a more timeless approach. Though Callahan and Staffen once again work with Rado, the results encompass a wider array of influences and styles, ranging from ‘90s alt rock songwriters to swirling shoegaze soundscapes and winding country harmonies. These expansive sonics are captured effortlessly in the record’s title track, which you can listen to early below, premiering with Under the Radar.

Though “Who Is Afraid of Blue” builds beautifully to a tremendous height, it nonetheless begins in a sparse and quiet mode, with Staffen’s vocals ringing above some subdued synth textures. As the song hits its stride, Staffen is joined by Rado’s bass and programmed drums, eventually ascending into a starry pop chorus. In these moments, the track sprawls outwards as if mirroring the endless blue sky, full of soaring harmonies and towering drumming. Finally, Callahan closes out the track with an extended show-stopping guitar solo.

In contrast to the euphoric instrumentation, the band also approaches their lyrics with a more subtle abstract hand. In the context of “Who Is Afraid of Blue,” the color could represent innumerable things: loss and grief, but also freedom, joy, and infinity. For the pair, it may even mean something more personal. Just as Callahan and Staffen began writing their sophomore record, Callahan began suddenly and rapidly losing her hearing. Though she has since gone into remission, the album is infused with a sense of weight and reckoning, exploring both fear and liberation. While the song and record are not necessarily about this loss, it is easy to hear this same tension within the title track.

The pair explains of the track, “‘Who Is Afraid of Blue’ (the song) Is about feeling homesick for your life, about losing luck, about feeling too much…But it also plays upon the “the best way out is through”...and in this case it’s through the blue…”

I’m homesick for my life/

When it felt just like open skies/

So real and just mine/

But have I lost my luck/

Have felt it enough/

Have I felt it too much/

So truly

Am I really too far in the dark?

Check out the song below. Who Is Afraid of Blue is out everywhere tomorrow via ANTI-.


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