Live Concert Photography: Rituals of Mine with NGHTCRWLR and Hari Kiri at Elsewhere Zone 1 9/7/19
Initially formed in 2009 as Sister Crayon, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Rituals of Mine, currently comprised of singer/songwriter Terra Lopez and percussionist Adam Pierce have received attention for a sound that draws from 90s trip hop, footwork and downtempo R&B — and for years of relentless touring up and down the West Coast, playing house shows, DIY venues and basements with the likes of The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, Doomtree, and others. Adding to a quickly growing profile, the Los Angeles-based duo’s first two albums — 2011’s Bellow and 2013’s Cynic — were released to critical acclaim.
2015 was a profoundly harrowing and difficult year for Lopez: her father committed suicide and several moths later, her best friend Lucas Johnson tragically died in an accident. Reeling from the grief of such inconsolable and unexpected loss, Lopez in a period of deep reflection felt the need to reassess her life and her work in Sister Crayon. She decided to put the Sister Crayon name to rest, moving forward with a new moniker — Rituals of Mine. As Terra Lopez wrote at the time, “It was a mantra that I repeated under my breath on a daily basis when the loss I was experiencing felt too heavy at times. Music, the act of creating, performing, touring, writing, singing, experimenting – all the rituals we have created to get through life.”
After years of obscuring her own story and emotions through metaphorical lyrics, Lopez felt a sudden confidence to write much more directly about her experiences and life as a queer woman of color. Lopez began fleshing out the material on what would become her Rituals of Mine debut Devoted with her longtime collaborator and producer Wes Jones, who helped turn her heartfelt writing on her trauma and personal growth into urgent and pulsating electronic tracks. Lopez then enlisted Adam Pierce to play drums, knowing that their background in metal percussion would provide an intensity that could match her own.
Last year was a very busy year for Lopez and Pierce. They opened for a handful of dates for The Afghan Whigs and Built to Spill’s co-headliing tour, including a Chicago area stop last April. They also opened for Garbage during the multi-plantium Grammy Award-winning band’s US tour. They also went on their first UK tour with JOVM mainstay Geographer and The Seshen.
Building upon that momentum, the duo’s latest effort, the Wes jones and Neal Pogue co-produced follow-up to Devoted, Sleeper Hold EP featured the urgent and fiery anti-Trump Administration anthem “No Time To Go Numb,” and the glitchy, Timbaland electro R&B-like “Burst.” Both singles and the rest of the EP’s material was driven by Lopez’s commitment to unvarnished emotional honesty — at all costs. “I made a promise to myself that I’m no longer going to play small or hide behind metaphors, that I’m going to really lean into self-confidence, self-reliance and take up space,” Lopez said in a statement to Billboard.
Now, as you may recall, the duo went on a handful of rare tour dates, which included a career spanning, sold-out, early September stop at Elsewhere Zone One with NGHTCRWLR and Hari Kiri. Check out photos from the show below.
Kristina Esfandiari is a prolific, Bay Area-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and music video director best known for her work with Whirr, King Woman (which, initially began as a solo recording project, before expanding into a full-fledged band), the solo recording project Miserable and her latest solo project NGHTCRWLR.
Throughout her career, which began in earnest after she left her church-based background and relocated to the Bay Area, Esfandiari has released material across a diverse and eclectic array of genres including shoegaze, hard rock/metal and industrial electronica.
Opening the night was Hari Kiri, an enigmatic, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and producer.