ANTI- Records has signed the New York City-based band Purr, who will release their debut album in 2020. Purr marks the second project from childhood friends and born and raised New Yorkers Eliza Callahan and Jack Staffen, who have previously released and performed music simply under their names, Jack and Eliza. “We are grateful to be working with the amazing people at ANTI-,” Callahan and Staffen said. “They’ve collaborated with so many artists we love and admire.”
The songwriting duo formed Purr in 2017 while seniors in college. They approached Sam Glick, a friend of Callahan’s, to record the first two songs they wrote in Callahan’s parent’s kitchen. Glick also stepped in on bass and brought Max Friedberg along to play drums, which led to the band’s natural formation. Rounding out the band is Maurice Marion, who joins on keyboards.
“”Take You Back” is one of the first songs we wrote as Purr, which is why it felt right to share it with you early on,” Callahan and Staffen explain. “We were shifting gears when we wrote and demoed this song, just stepping into a new and expanded sound that was naturally unfolding and taking hold. We had just graduated from college and were writing constantly out of an empty basement space that the last kind landlord in New York City has let us use. In July of 2017, we arranged and recorded the first version of “Take You Back”.”
Taking cues from a lineage of dual-lead-vocalist bands with sonic roots in the late 60's and 70's, Callahan and Staffen fluidly oscillate between singing in harmony and unison with their voices often blending to forge what at times can eerily sound like a singular voice. While the songwriting style too makes nods to the same era as do their tones, their music evades placement in any specific time or place.
“When we wrote [“Take You Back”], we wrote the lyrics to the bridge first: ‘i’m the real believer/I’m the big deceiver,’” Callahan and Staffen said. “That’s the real centerpiece of the song, of course in structure, but emotionally too.”