Courtship Ritual are a band on a New York based label Godmode run by Nick Sylvester and Talya Elitzer. If you remember, I recently covered Godmode artist Shamir in our Introducing section. After some digging, I discovered Courtship Ritual and their wonderful debut album Pith. The band consists of Jared Olmsted and Monica Salazar, a Californian duo based in Brooklyn. Pith was produced by Nick Sylvester and is a highly endearing and unique alternative record.
Pith opens with Yellow Spiders. The track begins with an ambient droning beat followed by a watery riff that is reminiscent of Warpaint. Yellow Spiders immediately draws you into Courtship Ritual’s world. Monica’s vocals are breathy yet commanding and are led along by the unique layered production of the track. Yellow Spiders is as endearing as any Warpaint song and is equally as hard to ignore. The riff on the second track Ancient Drip would not be out of place on a Siouxsie and The Banshees record. The band’s sound has been compared to Cocteau Twins and there are definitely some dark lush eighties influences lurking on the surface. The synth beats lead along with the dark riff along with Monica’s vocal create a unique and hypnotic sound.
Wild Like Us is another track laden with watery riffs and clacking synths. Monica’s vocals take on a commanding tone in this track as she sings “it’s wild, so wild like us”. It’s a pleasure to listen to. Courtship Ritual could be heard as an expansion of their eighties dreampop/gothic influences and it makes for a wild ride indeed and a beautiful listening experience. Kingdom Of Beauty is a track I found to be one of the most immediate tracks on the record. Monica sings “You’re a handsome beast just like your mother” sings Monica in a tone that takes on a bit of sass. The song has another infectious riff that keeps us infinitely interested to hear more. Champagne Cages is a more experimental and non traditional song. The combination of sounds and layered production make it an hypnotic listen. The hypnotic ambience that Courtship Ritual convey on Pith is what makes them so endearing and even addictive to listen to on their first record.
Abuela goes even further out there. The track is more synth led. Minimalism is the name of the game here. I believe this has worked on this track. The focus is on Monica’s layered vocals with certainly add the dark ambience I imagine was intended here. Umbrellas In The Sun’s melody is beautiful and almost anthemic. There is a lullaby quality in this track that I felt drawn to in listening. The record ends with Six Foot Summer which could be described as the album’s dance track. The song is synth led with a catchy melody. The track achieves an atmosphere that makes it a highly addictive ambient dance track that ends the album on a wonderfully experimental note.
I think what makes this album so good is excellent collaboration of artists and producer Nick Sylvester. Pith by Courtship Ritual is another Godmode release I found an absolute pleasure to listen to. I would highly recommend it.
Pith by Courtship Ritual was released on 22nd July off Godmode and is available to stream on Spotify and Soundcloud.