Today, sister duo Purple Pilgrims have released the third part of a trilogy of Super 8 films that were made with friend and fellow musician Gary War. ‘Ancestors Watching’ is taken from the band’s album Perfumed Earth which was released via Flying Nun Records in what seems like another world; pre-pandemic. Due to one thing or another the sisters were delayed in releasing the third instalment, then with the emergence of Covid-19, it was temporarily lost to the archives. This is the final piece of Purple Pilgrims’ current story left to share.
“The video is our take on an ancient ritual. We were thinking about folkloric traditions, and of course our ancestors. The song is largely about being kind to oneself, and the idea that muddling our way through life can feel less daunting when we consider all our family branching out behind us, holding wisdom and strength. It’s an idea that can offer comfort when we’re feeling lost. We had this really simple idea loosely based around a maypole dance - the ancient celebration of oncoming warmer weather and new growth. May celebrations are so optimistic, always looking forward - which felt fitting as the song itself is about a new beginning too in a way.”
Premiered by our friends of at Audiofemme, this video was filmed by Gary War in the summer of 2019, freely on a hillside in Tāmaki Makaurau, with their ancestors watching on (amused we presume). Concept and art direction by Clementine & Valentine Nixon and makeup by Jessica Hunt.
As Purple Pilgrims, sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon make music that is at once spacious and sensual, swooning and spellbound. The sisters’ intertwined voices soar and slow dive, radiating a rich spectrum of experience: journeys, homecomings, and great longing.
Raised in Hong Kong and New Zealand's South Island by a family whose musical roots run deep, the sisters developed a unique inner language, a universe of secret worlds. Their music is the nexus of paradise and isolation, beauty and blankness, ritual and the right now.
Perfumed Earth, their sophomore album and Flying Nun debut which arrived in 2019, shimmers with veiled, kaleidoscopic textures. The sisters combine their ethereal voices with gleaming synthesisers and guitars that sound both futuristic and eternal, creating what Pitchfork calls “lush melodies, strands that wind and splay like a carpet of vine.”
The sisters are currently located in an isolated valley in New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula, where they live with their dog, Merlin, and a few thousand honey bees.