Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
You know when you hear someone and you think that it's just a matter of time. All it's going to take is a little more clock and some luck and that band is going to be ever-known. You know when it's something special, even if you're not sure what exactly it is that makes it so spectacular. Sacramento's Sister Crayon is one of those bands that gets a person thinking about bigger things on the horizon. Then again, there are all sorts of musical geniuses out there who are left by the wayside, shaking their heads askance and wondering what went wrong. It could always happen - and it does (look at athletics for thousands and thousands of case studies) - that the sure thing never materializes, but even if something like that were to happen there, Sister Crayon would still be something incredible, for what it's already made.
Lead singer Terra Lopez is a pure presence, gifted with styles as diverse as the eccentric offerings of Bjork, the operatic moments of Shara Worden's My Brightest Diamond catalog, the smoky jazz and soul of an Etta James or the spooky pop-nicities of Fiona Apple. The music feels like tinted windows and sand between your toes, all at the same time. It feels nervous and it feels cool and studied. It's immaculate for its precision and for its cockeyed waywardness. It's sexy and it's vulnerable. The characters in Sister Crayon songs sound like warm role players. They're putting on costumes and trying to play different parts. They're able to offer of themselves as much as they feel they can leave behind if they have to cut out in the middle of the night. They have shifty eyes and they only sit facing the door when they're eating out at restaurants. There always seems to be something lurking under the surface, pulling itself up to the top here and there, when the flickers of light are strangely attractive. We follow so closely. We are listening so closely.