Rituals is the result of throwing out the ‘Deaf Havana rulebook’: first; James picked the song titles, second; he wrote tracks that fit the theme of those titles, third; everything was written on the computer, then the band came in to play all the parts. Working like this felt like working backwards to James, who had previously only written songs on his acoustic guitar, with continuous input from the rest of the band. They set themselves a deadline of April to finish writing, and if any of it was any good, they would make it available by August. No more waiting half a decade for people to finally hear any music.
A recurring theme on the album is one of struggle and redemption. Now happily married and feeling secure of his place in the world for the first time in his life, James’ lyrics cover the themes of disconnect, wrestling with the self and letting go of personal demons.