THURSDAY, September 21  @  It's OK* Studios                               doors 7PM / Show 8pm                               19+                              

Sister Ray

Sister Ray, the project of Edmonton-born songwriter Ella Coyes, was conceived out of necessity; a self-designed vehicle built to examine trauma with unflinching honesty. Armed with a voice that soars and scrapes in equal measure, Coyes converts first-person recollections of big, complicated love into universally potent allegories. 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.

Communion, the 2022 debut album by Sister Ray, is a raw, meticulously-crafted portrait of momentous, ordinary moments; experiences that define your past, and instruct how you move through the world. Quickly met with critical acclaim, the album was longlisted for the 2022 Polaris Prize, and Pitchfork deemed it “a complex study of webs of interpersonal hurt, and a celebration of emotional survival.” They have been featured in Clash Magazine, NME, DIY Magazune, Audiotree, Paste, NPR, and more, along with appearances at Pitchfork Festival in Paris & London, Primavera Weekender, and headline and support dates across North America and Europe.

Teeth, their new EP on Royal Mountain Records, came from a need for space and the repercussions conditional to this desire. “I was thinking often about intimacy and avoidance—crawling around to find where my place would be,” Coyes says. The songs were written quickly and vigorously, mimicked through the recording process, crafted by Coyes over five days, recruiting Ginla ( the Brooklyn based duo behind Communion and early Adrienne Lenker) as collaborators and producers. With three originals and a spectral cover of “I Never Will Marry,” inspired by Linda Ronstadt’s interpretation, Coyes discerns big and small epiphanies in Teeth. Their yearning tone and staggering honesty trickles throughout and the erosion leads to an opening—vacant, unfamiliar, and with room to breathe.