Though many live incarnations transpired, Sister Crayon is ultimately a duo. Not sisters by blood, but of the soul. On a mental level, Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez phase locked into the depths of their creative selves for five years of emotionally-driven electronica. Devoted is the pay-off of sorting through the notebook, laboring over the sound pieces, and discovering the delicate balance of anxiety and unbridled energy.
A rift has long existed between Sister Crayon on record and Sister Crayon on stage. On record: meticulously crafted; a buzzing vibrancy of explored textures too powerful to leave on the cutting room floor; maximalist and at times pristine. On stage: stripped to the essence; naked and afraid; powerful. Whether as a duo or employing a drummer to flesh out the sound, Sister Crayon on stage is understanding where it all originated should any confusion arise on record. Past albums struggled to mend the rift, while Devoted from the jump of “Armor” is feverish drum programming to Lopez’s raw street savvy. “Baby girl told me to own that shit / so go on and own that shit,” as the first spoken words is uncharacteristic of Sister Crayon, and yet meant to be discovered for so long. And so, Lopez pines for a “ride or die”, repurposing a rap trope to her personal definition, and haunts “Night Totem” with an Aaliyah-esque confession of having never been good.
By letting the r&b influences bubble and congeal atop the sound, Devoted discovers the true identity of Sister Crayon. The dark, low-end heavy production is stripped to the essentials to match Lopez’s confessional writing; sourced in anger and frustration, steadfast in defying the option to wallow. Sister Crayon aptly titled their record as it is devoted to a clarity through arranging the broken pieces just so.
Sister Crayon’s Devoted is out June 2 on Rodriguez-Lopez Productions and available for preorder on iTunes.