Published Sep 28, 2016If you don't recognize the name Rituals of Mine, it's likely because up until recently, the Sacramento duo (Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez) went by Sister Crayon — a name they decided no longer represents them as artists. Along with a name change, Rituals of Mine were signed to major-label Warner Bros. Records earlier this year, no small feat for a small, decidedly electronic outfit that have been producing music together for the last seven years.
Devoted was released last year under as Sister Crayon, and produced in part by Mars Volta man Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (the album was originally scheduled for release on his own label, but hit a snag when At the Drive-In reunited). The re-release with Warner sees the album remastered and includes a smattering of previously unreleased B-sides and remixes. The duo blend everything from trip-hop to R&B, the ghostly vocals of singer Lopez dancing atop the beatwork of producer Fernandez. There's so much variety here, it's no wonder that their wide array of tour mates — recently, Deftones, Tricky and the Album Leaf — span so many genres.
Delving into the topic of loss on the album, Devoted is subtly aggressive in a way that draws you in rather than repels, playing the emotional content off dark, rich tracks. The bare structure of the melodious and haunting "Hell in My Head" slowly blooms into a minimal yet punchy soundscape, while standout track "Providence" uses thick hits of bass drum and a plodding bass line to blow into an urgent chorus.
Devoted is an album that demands attention, and deserves it. (Warner)