Psychic sisterhood and wistful wanderlust are the twin energies feeding lush ceremonial dream-pop duo Purple Pilgrims - AKA multi-instrumentalist, home producers Valentine and Clementine Nixon. Raised itinerantly in Hong Kong and on New Zealand’s South Island, with deep backgrounds in folk music (their great-grandfather Davie Stewart was recorded by Alan Lomax), the sisters adapted by devising their own telepathic inner worlds. After the Christchurch earthquake of 2011 leveled their home they migrated to the North Island, crashing with friends and sleeping in cars, eventually returning to China, where they began performing crouched sets of gauzy, angelic noise.
Subsequent tours of Europe and America alongside Yek Koo, Gary War and Ariel Pink helped hone their sprawling, choral haze into leaner, more mantric forms. To record their first full-length LP Eternal Delight, the Pilgrims sequestered themselves in Tapu, on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula of NZ, in a shed surrounded by native palms and birds. The isolation, stars, and river nightswimming evidently soaked into the music – all 10 tracks radiate spectral feeling and wide-eyed sensuality. In 2018 Purple Pilgrims collaborated with legendary Antipodean guitarist Roy Montgomery (The Pin Group) on his album Suffuse, alongside some of the era’s most compelling women singers (Grouper, Circuit des Yeux, Julianna Barwick), the sisters lending their voices and lyricism to his enveloping sound.
Stumbling down the narrow hallway of her family’s Los Angeles home, Sofia Wolfson took her first steps to her dad strumming “Norwegian Wood” on his Taylor Guitar. She was surrounded by music from the beginning: the rooms and hallways always lined with a variety of instruments from guitars to dulcimers, basses to shakers. Wolfson picked up the guitar at age 6, began writing her own songs by age 9, and played her first show when she was thirteen, a pimply high school freshman singing about homework woes, boy troubles and the overwhelming feeling of growing up. During her years at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, though a theater major, she continued writing and performing music, taking lessons learned from her department about performance and delivery.
Raised on a crowded West Hollywood intersection, Los Angeles has always been a central character in Wolfson’s music, whether she draws her inspiration from her morning hike up to the Observatory with her dog Gulliver, or from conversations she overhears while walking through her neighborhood. Her musical influences range from Joni Mitchell to Blake Mills, The Band to Fiona Apple, music she was introduced to by her dad on long car rides north to visit family.