Tracing their origins back to 2009, when the project was started as Sister Crayon, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Rituals of Mine — singer/songwriter Terra Lopez and percussionist Adam Pierce — have received attention for crafting a sound that features elements of 90s trip hop, footwork and downtempo R&B through the release of their critically applauded first two albums, 2011’s Bellow and 2013’s Cynic. Building upon a growing profile, the act had spent several years relentlessly touring up and down the West Coast and elsewhere, playing house shows, DIY venues and basements before, eventually landing tours with The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, Doomtree, and others.
2015 was a harrowing and difficult year for Lopez: her father committed suicide and several months later, her best friend Lucas Johnson tragically died in an accident. Reeling from the grief of such profoundly unexpected and inconsolable loss, Lopez went through a period of deep reflection. During that time, Lopez felt the need to reassess life and her work with Sister Crayon, eventually deciding that she needed to put the name to rest and move forward with a new chapter and new moniker — Rituals of Mine. ““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,” Lopez wrote at the time. “Music, the act of creating, performing, touring, writing, singing, experimenting – all the rituals we have created to get through life.”
Rituals of Mine is a bold and decided step forward for Lopez: after years of obscuring her own story and emotions through metaphorical lyrics, Lopez felt both a sudden confidence and need to write more directly about her experiences and life as a queer woman of color. Lopez with the assistance of her longtime collaborator and producer Wes Jones began to flesh out material centered around heartfelt observations and writing on her traumas by pairing her lyrics with pulsating and forceful electronic tracks. Lopez then recruited Adam Pierce to play drums — with understanding that Pierce’s background in metal would provide an intensity that could match her own and fit the material.
Back in 2018, I wrote about “No Time To Go Numb” a defiant anti-Trump anthem centered around a tweeter and woofer rocking production of trap-like beats and chopped up and distorted vocal samples paired with Lopez’s impassioned vocal delivery, which sees her sing and spit fiery bars. Thematically, the song reminds the listener that while it may be natural to want to slink back from the horrors of an crooked and dictatorial Trump Administration, that things are too desperate, too urgent; that now is the time to be fueled by anger and fear of what could happen next, and fight like hell for those who are most vulnerable.
Much like countless artists across the globe, Rituals of Mine’s Terra Lopez has turned our period of quarantines and social distancing into an opportunity to reach out to fans while helping give to those in need through a weekly Twitch streamed DJ Series titled LOCKDOWN LOPEZ. Lopez takes over her girlfriend’s bedroom and turns into the club. This past Tuesday’s LOCKDOWN LOPEZ saw the Rituals of Mine frontwoman raise money for 174 meals for Border Kindness — and every week, she’ll be raising money to a new charity. Since we’re on the DJ and club vibe, their longtime producer and collaborator Wes jones recently created a deep house remix of “No Time to Go Numb,” for LOCKDOWN LOPEZ that’s centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a chopped up and distorted Lopez vocal sample and a dance floor friendly groove, turning the furious anthem into a club banger.