White Ring make bleak yet beautiful electronic pop songs that often feature ghostly vocals, blown-out bass, and darkly euphoric synths, blending influences such as trance, industrial, and trap. Often associated with the witch house movement, the group released a few well-received EPs and DJ mixes during the early 2010s before seemingly vanishing. In the works for nearly a decade, White Ring's debut full-length, Gate of Grief, finally arrived in 2018.
White Ring initially consisted of Bryan Kurkimilis and Kendra Malia, who met online in 2007 and bonded over a wide range of genres, including Southern rap, rave, post-punk, and neofolk. The New York-based duo began making dark, haunting synth pop songs that started circulating online by the end of the decade. In 2010, as witch house was receiving widespread coverage through music websites and blogs, White Ring released their debut EP, Black Earth That Made Me, on Houston-based Disaro, one of the scene's flagship labels. The duo also released two 7" singles, including a split with oOoOO, and played sold-out shows in New York and the U.K. In 2011, White Ring's remix of God Module's "Rituals" was released by Metropolis Records, and their cover of Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My" was issued as a 12" single by Handmade Birds. They also signed to U.K.-based indie label Rocket Girl, which reissued Black Earth That Made Me.
The duo had begun recording their debut full-length in 2010. However, due to personal issues, including Malia's health problems, production was delayed for several years. In 2016, Adina Viarengo became White Ring's second vocalist; Malia remained a member of the group, but she continued working at her own pace. Viarengo and Kurkimilis moved to Joshua Tree, California in order to finish the album, and they began performing new material in Los Angeles by the end of the year. The duo then relocated to Massachussetts, in addition to playing several U.K. dates opening for God Is an Astronaut. White Ring's debut full-length, Gate of Grief, was released by Rocket Girl in June of 2018. ~ Paul Simpson