Pure Bathing Culture's soft-lit songs are universally melodic and sugar sweet, colored in chipper synthesizers and percolating drum machines that sparkle and fizz like just-poured champagne.

Pure Bathing Culture's soft-lit songs are universally melodic and sugar sweet, colored in chipper synthesizers and percolating drum machines that sparkle and fizz like just-poured champagne.

On Pray for Rain, from 2015, the Portland, Oregon, duo glides through optimistic-sounding cuts built around instrumentals that call to mind sunny morning skies rather than the storm clouds suggested by the album title. Lyrically, however, Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman traverse stickier terrain. Witness the album-opening "The Tower," which is rooted in the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, or the broad feeling of existential dread that creeps into the title track (sample lyric: "Are you cut in two? Cut all the way through?").

Regardless, it's not all hopelessness and despair, and there are numerous occasions where words and music move together lockstep. "And I do surrender my darkest endeavors," Versprille sings on "Singer," flashing a lightness matched by the pastel instrumentation.