Communion by Sister RayRelease date: May 13, 2022
Label: Royal Mountain Records
Bringing something that is not ‘run-of-the-mill’ to the musical world of singer songwriters is possibly one of the hardest tasks any artist can undertake.
That is exactly what Edmonton-born artist Ella Coyes (they/she), who works under the moniker of Sister Ray, is attempting on their debut album Communion. It is not only the unique qualities of Coyes’ voice, but the way they incorporate it into an also unique songwriting concept that is at the same time both hard to pinpoint and uniquely listenable and engaging.
Still, Sister Ray music comes up with traces of other exceptional talents like Jeff Buckley (‘Visions’), or Mike Kinsella (his nineties work with both American Football and Joan of Arc) as well as some unique roots and gospel influences.
This might sound as a bit of a left-field combination, Coyes seems to be able to unify them into something quite unique and specific. That unique element is certainly within the lyrics Coyes comes up with here. Add to all of this great support from Brooklyn-based duo ginla, which give Sister Ray the exact musical foil they need.
“While writing Communion, I was exploring my identity in a way that involved grief and insecurity”, says Coyes. “These songs were written with liberation in mind.”
And it is all perfectly reflected in one of the more engaging debut albums so far this year.