A debut album like Sister Ray’s only comes along once in a while. The sheer vulnerability and cathartic release of the indie folk-rock debut, Communion, is as heartbreaking as it is mystifying. Whether or not you’ve heard the singer-songwriter’s name before, yes inspired by The Velvet Underground song, you will feel like you know them like a long-lost friend who has poured all their insecurities, trauma and shortcomings over multiple conversations with you.
But Communion isn’t about feeling sorry for Sister Ray, real name Ella Coyes from Edmonton (now based in Toronto), but rather, growing through pain and not letting events define you. It’s a constant reminder that tragic things happen to good people, but we can’t let them instruct our daily life. Communion is a constant wrestle with these ideas that permeate the brain and slowly but surely eviscerate your psyche.
If you’ve ever had a broken heart, Communion reminds you of that feeling in slow motion. You will feel this and more with songs like “Violence,” Jackie In The Kitchen,” and “Visions.” The production and instrumentation, handled by Coyes and Toronto/Brooklyn alt-pop duo, Ginla, are strong and relatable. Any fans of Big Thief, Angel Olsen, or even Prince will have a good if not emotional time with Sister Ray’s Communion.