Sister Ray is the pseudonym for Edmonton-born singer songwriter Ella Coyes. The album is Communion, but with Ray as the sister, this sacrament is more of an exorcism than a baptism, and thus the experience is more exegesis than hermeneutics. Like the Velvet Underground song with which they share a namesake, Sister Ray hits it sideways, playing unexpected intonations over religious iconography like prophecy, crucifixion, and ‘good news.’ The music is blustery folk and indie rock, Coyes’ teetering vocal and guitar playing on the cliff between distant, noxious noise compositions and sweet soaring synths. Coyes’ Métis upbringing informs their storytelling, finding resilience in family and familiarity. Call it an exorcism, but Sister Ray is hardly demonized, if anything the approach on offer is kind and gentle in the face of inarticulable trauma and the locus of violence and power that infect the convent. Their album debut is on Royal Mountain Records, landing them a well deserved place alongside dirt city legend Mac Demarco and east coast outsiders Nap Eyes.
Biography by Liam Prost