Purple Period starts off with “David: My Father’s Father’s Father.” Immediately, I feel like I’m floating and I continue to feel this way throughout the entirety of the album. It’s raining outside, and the melancholic sounds streaming from my headphones suits this atmosphere perfectly. Celina Kurtz sings about the loss of someone close, but comes to the understanding that maybe there isn’t anything immediate one can do, crooning “David lives inside me.”
In the most reassuring manner, Purple Period makes sadness sound not so sad, like a slightly overcast sky with just enough light seeping through. Though there is a unifying melancholic air to this album, each track features a new voice, all tender and delightful in their own way. “Aristophanes,” for instance, builds upon the mood of “David: My Father’s Father’s Father” yet remains distinct. This is a track that you can slow dance to in a dress that moves along with you. Maybe someone’s in your arms, but they soon dissolve and you are left questioning if they were ever real in the first place. Capturing this feeling of loss and self-doubt, Allie Lynch croons “I’m lonely when she’s not with me” as the song comes to a quiet close.
Similarly, “Eintagsliebe,” German for “a fleeting love,” takes a hauntingly eerie approach towards melancholy, sounding like a ghost’s stream of consciousness. Here, Jessica Wright sings of this type of brief but intense affection. Throughout the track, she conveys an overwhelming amount of emotions, but she fails to fully express these feelings. When she sings, for example, “It’s black and it’s green and it’s got a strange shape / I don’t know what it is but it’s filled with pain / It’s not part of me, you put it there” we are made to understand fleeting love as something defined by restless anticipation, jitteriness, suspense, and maybe even suffering (a little bit). The lyrics are reminiscent of, essentially, the beginning of any romantic experiences I have ever had — a relatable and intense longing, riddled with anxiety.
In Purple Period, the complexities of relationships are explored in their many forms: familial, platonic and romantic, making it entirely relatable for listeners. Each track on the album is unique in its own way, while still maintaining a tone of ethereal sadness. Are you feeling a little gloomy today? Davina Shell, the mastermind behind the album, is here to tell you it’s okay. Purple Period feels like the warm and needed hug, and it also makes me wish my periods were purple.