Work on Divine Invasions began as soon as the first album had been finished back in September 2019. The first album saw sparing use of guitar, instead mainly writing around piano. When it came to writing the second, Sanders and Barnett didn’t want to fall into the same routine, choosing to embrace exploring new sounds, experiment with new effects, making guitars sound like synths and using vocals for the first time. The album began taking shape at Ritual Cloak’s studio HQ in Cardiff, but lock-down forced the pair to work separately, and in a very different manner than before. However, this change of circumstance proved extremely fruitful, and has resulted in a collection of songs that would otherwise have not come together had Sanders and Barnett continued to work in their traditional ways.
The title Divine Invasions is inspired by the Philip K Dick biography. Dick was plagued by nervous breakdowns and driven to near insanity by visions of God.
I LAWR YMHLITH Y TYWYLLWCH
I Lawr Ymhlith Y Tywyllwch is the first new material from Ritual Cloak following the release of their 2019 self-titled debut album. Originally composed as part of the creative community project, The Girl Who Wouldn’t Give Up, the track takes the current climate crisis and impending risks to nature as its thematic core. Echoing the ancient Welsh legend of the Afanc, a monster that floods and destroys the land, I Lawr Ymhlith Y Tywyllwch translates as ‘Down Amongst The Darkness’ and draws on the urgent need for communities to act together to curb our environmental decline.
I Lawr Ymhlith Y Tywyllwch revisits and rebuilds the glacial sonic wizardry of their debut brick-by-brick, glitch-by-glitch. The single will be digitally released on 25 November 2020 through Bubblewrap Collective ahead of their as-yet untitled second album scheduled for 2021.
With its head in the city but heart in the mountains, Ritual Cloak encapsulates the need to escape the modern trappings of city living and embrace the call of the hills. We are extremely fortunate to live in such a beautiful country as Wales. Its landscape has a major influence on the sound of the album, which we recorded at our studio in Cardiff with mastering by Charlie Francis. The cover art was designed by Jude Lau of The Printhaus by feeding audio of the entire album through a needle, drawing out a non-linear pattern onto a copper plate, effectively creating a unique work of art in direct response to the album.
RITUAL CLOAK REMIXED
During the recording process we realised the potential for the tracks on Ritual Cloak to be remixed or reimagined. We invited some of our favourite artists from Wales and further afield to collaborate on Ritual Cloak Remixed, including contributions from Charlie Francis, Tom Ellis and CrashDisco as well as striking reworkings from Minas and Time Destroys All Things.