"Cynic" by Sister Crayon

April 16. 2013 | By Ace Ubas


Sister Crayon
[Fake Four Inc.]

Songwriter Terra Lopez began Sister Crayon as a solo project, but grew into collaboration with beat-maker Dani Fernandez. With one album under their belt, the Oakland-based duo continues to carve out their identity with their latest EP, Cynic.

The ambience in Cynic runs thin, leaving a shallow space that creates an intimate bond between

artist and listener, which plays an important role as each track fleshes out Lopez’s distressed past that includes the lack of a paternal figure in her youth. Tracks like “Cynic,” “Floating Heads,” and “Meager Leavings” show that Lopez struggles to reconcile with her past and inevitably affects her present life. Her direct approach is presented effectively through her brutal honesty, making the lyrics heavier.

Musically, polyrhythms are created with MPC-produced beats and organic instrumentation. Portishead-esque melodies flow smoothly and effortlessly, while Lopez’ soulful voice gracefully glides and soars without limits. “Other” provides the resolution to the narrative in its climax where her furious vocals intertwines beautifully with the thundering drums (provided by Omar Barajas), perhaps representing that her personal demons may have been exorcised.

Typically identified with trip-hop, Cynic is proof that Sister Crayon is carving a niche and pushing it into new territory.

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