Ritual Cloak + Autumn Juvenile New ‘A Human Being Is The Best Disguise’ Album via Bubblewrap Collective
Today marks the release of the triumphant record ‘A Human Being is the Best Disguise’, a reworking of Ritual Cloak’s self-titled, largely instrumental debut release, except now with added lyrics and vocals by writer, comedian and spoken word performer Autumn Juvenile. The resultant hybrid takes the glacial electronica of the original album, before injecting it with a cocktail of dark narratives, observational detail and social commentary.
Autumn Juvenile describes the process:
“All lyrics are a mix of real-life lies, workplace gossip, online flirtations and (most unforgivably) pure imagination. They were written on stifling summer nights working in secure mental health units across Cardiff, in between rolling cigarettes for rapists. This is music you can smugly share on your social media; working class fictions for middle class listeners”
With the release available now via Bubblewrap Collective, we are delighted to stream the record in full below:
The new 8 track album starts with the harrowing first single “You’re The Summer”. A track that left us in awe when the collaboration was released in August. The single is the perfect release to introduce the audience to the intricate work of this unity. “You’re The Summer” starts with the enchanting and bright piano instantly taking focus and setting up the course of the moving atmosphere, the notes play in this looping effort, this time with the release you embrace the story-telling and truly raw vocal presence from Autumn Juvenile. Manipulating the intricate landscape that Ritual Cloak create, shifting the ambiance to express a wide range of emotion through the vocal notes and the illusory words. The spoken word efforts add this striking intense variation to the ensemble, offering a wealth of affection through the words and the fierce delivery, some comical notations to some abruptly intimate and honest lyrics erupting the tonality with lashes of this aching sentiment.
Following this standout release, “The Oyster House” dynamically shifts the intensity from the first arrangement. The brooding piano keys once again bringing this forceful injection to a fragile atmosphere. Delicate drum sticks emerge, and sweeter cymbal crashes commencing in the background, the sounds collide with this gentle affair as Autumn Juvenile once again brings this powerful affection to the forefront of this vision with the painstakingly raw lyrics. This hypnotic motion emerges with the rhythmic passages that break out as the ensemble moves further into its journey. Ritual Cloak and Autumn Juvenile together with this arrangement provide one of the most intoxicating atmospheres, this track leaves this mammoth impression.
“Pinky Promise” explores the more experimental instrumentation to begin harnessing the ambiance and meandering through this cutting course before the additional voices collaborate and add this mighty contrast with the harmonies. As the instrumentation grows and the intensity heightens alongside the cutting vocal notes from Autumn, this powerful track gives a sense of hope to the audience. The emotion that Autumn gives to this release, you believe the lyrics, you embrace the lyrics, you understand. What a connection between the wordsmith and the audience. Elsewhere on the record, tracks such as “The Rules Of Starvation” and “White Linen” both hang on the gentle influence of space within the atmospherical creations, minimalist attributes that still strive to bring this wealth of emotion that oozes from the expressive landscape.
This album provides 8 of the most moving compositions, challenging aspects of life whilst still capturing the human connection and emotion we convey. This is truly one of the most delicate, yet destructive orchestrations. Carefully adding this abrupt element with the raw words and moving instrumentation, this collaboration adds this real defiance on boundaries, for the audience has no choice but to be affected by the words and the stirring sensation of the innovative pieces. The audience accepts the message and in turn, is deeply moved.
The union of Ritual Cloak and Autumn Juvenile speaks utter volumes for both. Adding this human complexity into Ritual Cloak’s unique instrumentation. The power simply shines throughout the entire album, an intense exploration that displays the prominent heartfelt songwriting, proudly swinging the influence between gentle and expressive to sullen and melancholic but always moving. That immersive power just hits you. This record will affect your emotions, there’s no way you can hide.
The album was recorded at Kings Road Studios, Cardiff, produced by Ritual Cloak and Autumn Juvenile and mastered by Charlie Francis. It also features vocals from Jemma Roper, as well as Ritual Cloak’s Daniel and Andrew. The cover photography is by Daniel Barnett.
Ritual Cloak is comprised of Daniel Barnett, formerly of the band Samoans, and drummer / producer Andrew Sanders. The duo met in 2013 after Daniel answered an ad for a guitarist to join the backing band for singer Jemma Roper. An instant kinship was struck, with both Daniel and Andrew embracing experimentation and a shared love of electronic music. After the split of Samoans in 2018, the pair began playing around with instrumental textures and piano-led ambient soundscape