Singer-songwriter Terra Lopez and beatmaker Dani Fernandez have captivated Sacramento audiences with their pensive yet catchy sound – while also hustling behind local coffee-house counters in between hopping on small, regional tours – since 2009.
All that effort paid off with a Warner Bros. record contract signed in May. And it shows in the accomplished “Devoted,” the first studio album by Rituals of Mine, new moniker for the electronic act long known as Sister Crayon.
Lopez’s singing, as usual, hits all the notes. But as with Kate Bush and Björk, her emotional range impresses most, her delivery rich with anguish, or resolve, or on occasion, hope. Fernandez’s beats have grown deeper, their punctuation bolder. The album’s hip-hop and jazz influences further mark this musical act’s growth from the moody synth that dominated its beginnings.
With its themes of romantic disappointment and restlessness, “Devoted” is not a happy album. But it’s a gorgeous one.
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Warner Bros. $11.99 (CD) on Amazon; $6.99 on iTunes