CARDIFF duo Ritual Cloak is the meeting of Daniel Barnett, formerly of Samoans, and drummer and producer Andrew Sanders, in which musical space between them they find some pretty beguiling, post-rock cinemascapes.
The pair first crossed paths in the fertile Welsh underground music scene in 2013, when Daniel answered an ad for a guitarist to join Jemma Roper’s backing band; there was a connection of like minds, forged over a love of the potential of leftfield electronica.
The Samoans, an impressive outfit in their own right, fell apart in 2018, which gave more focus to their alchemy and explorations; a debut album followed the next year and early anthem “Everyone Is Hungover So I Walked The Mountain Alone” was picked up by BBC Radio Wales.
They’ve returned, fresh for the weirdness of 2021 today, with a new single, “Opaque Crater”, for Bubblewrap Collective; you can hear that below.
It’s the first single to be taken from their forthcoming second album, Divine Invasions, and a bit of a cracker it is, too. It has some of that electronic sounscaping we’ve come to expect from Mogwai, post-Rave Tapes; makes a deep, sweeping mantra from a steel drum percussive lilt and prettily clicky bass, propelling along nicely towards some towering guitar action. That’s a lot of breathtaking sound for two people.
The pair say: “Opaque Crater was one of the first songs we started writing for Divine Invasions and the title came to Dan while he was travelling through the Scottish Highlands.
“We were in a hugely positive state of mind at the time as we’d just finished work on our debut album and wanted to keep the creative momentum going.
“Opaque Crater is one of the songs on the album that was pretty much fully written and recorded pre-lockdown, so the writing process for this one was quite different from the majority of the album.
“When writing started and we’d work in the studio together we’d come in with small ideas, never anything fully formed, and just see where they took us on the day.
“That’s always been what makes Ritual Cloak so exciting for us, there are no expectations and that attitude of ‘there are no rules’ really allows for our creativity to flourish.”
Opaque Crater is out across all digital platforms today, February 5th, with the album following later this spring.