Feature, News, Reviews

Sister Ray Shares New Single “Visions” and Announces Debut Album “Communion” due May 13th via Royal Mountain Records

February 28, 2022
Vanessa Heins

Sister Ray

Shares “Visions”

Announces Debut Album “Communion ” due May 13th
Out via Royal Mountain Records

Sister Ray, the project of Edmonton-born songwriter, Ella Coyes (they/she) is sharing their new single, “Visions” alongside announcing details of their debut album, Communion which is set for release on May 13 via Royal Mountain Records (Alvvays, Wild Pink, U.S. Girls). Coyes announced their signing to Royal Moutain Records last month with the first single, “Crucified”; they will support the “Visions” release with dates as part of SXSW Festival – a full run of North American dates are TBC shortly, these come off the back of previous shows opening for Julien Baker and Mount Eerie.

Communion is a raw, meticulously-crafted portrait of momentous, ordinary moments; experiences that define your past and instruct how you move through the world. It’s also a break-up album invested in exploring the motivations behind actions, rather than attempting moral judgment. It’s about “shitty shit” says Coyes. Backed by Ginla, the Brooklyn-based duo behind early Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker and Lorely Rodriguez (Empress Of)Communion is anchored by guitar melodies that bear an undercurrent of turmoil and echoes with the wisdom of hard-won lessons. 

The new single marks a poignant introduction to the forthcoming record demonstrating Coyes’ ability to write vulnerable yet powerful and highly emotive songs. Speaking about the track, Coyes says: “There’s this feeling when I’m dreaming that suddenly my body weighs a million pounds, and I can’t move or speak, it’s like I’m melting into mercury. It’s that moment when I finally see the door, and the handle comes into view that suddenly I am unable to move another inch. The door opens like that scene in The Simpsons where Bart goes to visit Mad Magazine in New York and the Twin Towers are still standing. But instead of a bunch of wacky cartoons, it’s just kind of sad, like what the receptionist told Bart would be inside.

So, I guess what “Visions” is about is feeling pissed and betrayed by something that was supposed to be beautiful and good.”

The tone that cascades across this tender atmopshere eludes to this nostaligc feeling, the guitar passages bring this familiar warmth to the creation whilst the dynamic vocal harmonies direct the motion of the release and add this influx of emotion. The lyrics build this clear vision for the ensemble, it’s personal, raw and relatable. Sister Ray can easily connect to the listener and with that brings such power. Sister Ray boldly allows such intimate attributes to fuel the path of this release, the end result – explosive.

Born and raised on the expansive prairies of Sturgeon County, Sister Ray’s music is steeped in a wide range of cultural influences. With gospel bluegrass and 90’s country playing in the background of their youth, it was the traditional Métis music played at home that not only brought them closer to their heritage, but taught them a form of storytelling rooted in collective value, resilience, and safety. Through the existential questions that came with examining contradictory identities, Coyes came to understand music’s ability to archive personal histories while also unpacking overwhelming emotions with the support of a community. 

As their taste evolved, Coyes began to devour music across all genres, obsessing over the songwriting of Loudon Wainwright III, the eerie space of Do Make Say Think, the hard-hitting hooks of mid-western emo like American Football, and the ascending vocals of Jeff Buckley. Walking on stage armed with only the shape of a song in hand, and an experience they wanted to memorialize, Coyes engineered a style of “conversational” music. Through improvised sets and repetition that relied on feedback from the audience to guide the direction of the show, Sister Ray invited their music to evolve — writing songs that touched on generational trauma and interpersonal violence, with lyrics that dissected guilt, obligations, and freedom as a way to heal from the inside out. “I feel like the music exists in its truest form when it’s being witnessed,” Coyes says. “The witnesses are participants in revealing what’s being communicated.”

You can pre-order the debut album, Communions here

Sister Ray
May 13, 2022
Out via Royal Mountain Records

1. Violence
2. Good News
3. Visions
4. I Want To Be Your Man
5. Reputations
6. Justice
7. Jackie In The Kitchen
8. Power
9. Crucified
10. Prophecy


You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.