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 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. Backed by Ginla, the Brooklyn based duo behind early Adrianne Lenker (Big Thief) 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. “While writing Communion, I was exploring my identity in a way that involved grief and insecurity”, says Coyes. “These songs were written with liberation in mind.”