Ritual Cloak: Shells

From Daniel Barnett (Samoans) and Andrew Sanders, better known as the duo behind Ritual Cloak comes their latest single, “Shell”.

While both hail from predominantly rock backgrounds, they joined together to explore a piano ambient and minimal techno beat soundscape inspired by their mutual love of sci-fi and thus birthing their self titled debut album in 2019.

The duo followed up Divine Invasions, their second album, with collaborations with Welsh poet, Autumn Juvenile, and Polish artist, Michal Iwanowski, and are now back doing their own thing with “Shell”.

Ritual Cloak says this about the song, 

‘Shell’ is about being in a dream where you’re constantly searching for someone but never quite finding them. It’s an idea that’s been floating around for a few years and gone through a number of different versions before becoming what it is now. Originally ‘Shell’ was written for acoustic guitar and had a completely different feel. Dan remembers re-listening to Metals by Feist and being inspired by the dramatic intimacy of the album, leading to ‘Shell’ being rewritten for piano. When the song was brought to the studio Sanders suggested taking the vocals outside of the usual comfort zone.

The intimate piano and vocals give me all my favourite parts of Radiohead vibes. The sweet and savoury music without the ego of the human.

What stands out about “Shell” is the use of the vocoder and autotune. They seamlessly fit within the constructs of the song instead of battling against it as both effects can sometimes do. They allow Barnett and Sanders to gently shift the quiet emotion of the lyrics into one of desperate hope.

Ritual Cloak has created quite an ethereal and atmospheric gem with “Shell”. It is quiet, intimate, emotional, and full of hope.

Listen to “Shell” below.