Throughout history, human beings have relied on rituals—personal, religious, professional, social, creative, and otherwise. It’s these rites that establish a modicum of control and cohesion over a world that often seems far removed from both. When swimming through tragedy, turmoil, and tumult, those practices can function as life preservers. Sacramento duo Rituals of Mine—Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez—realized that firsthand.
Since 2010, the pair had been touring and releasing music under the moniker Sister Crayon. Their travels allowed them to share the stage with The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, and many others, in addition to releasing the independent Bellow (2011) and Cynic (2013). Along the way, they earned praise from The BBC, Pitchfork, The Fader, Rolling Stone and more for their ghostly 21st century trip hop séance of soulful vocals, heavy beats, and breathy catharsis. However, 2015 would be the most trying and challenging year yet for the girls. Following the recording of Devoted and a quiet indie release, Terra unexpectedly lost two prominent figures in her life; figures who shaped both her understanding of her self and of music. In September 2015, Terra lost her father to suicide. Less than six months later, she suffered another harrowing blow when her best friend Lucas Johnson passed away in a tragic accident.
“It was a very tough two years,” she admits. “The name pays respect to those years, so Dani and I don’t forget what we’ve gone through as a band to get to where we are now. What are these rituals? They’re singing, performing, and writing. The record is dedicated to my dad and Lucas. Sister Crayon was the last name they knew us going by. We had to put that name to rest. Rituals of Mine is much more than a name. It’s a statement. This is a new beginning.”
In the midst of everything, Rituals of Mine inked a deal with Warner Bros. Records in February 2016. They worked closely with producer Wes Jones and mixing engineer Dave Clauss to make some final moves before enlisting Tom Coyne [Led Zeppelin, Adele] to master Devoted. The album represents the realization of a vision the two-piece possessed since day one.
“Dani and I had always known what music we wanted to make,” explains Terra. “We were very adamant that this record was going to be the sound we’ve consistently heard in our heads and the vision we’ve wanted for the project since day one. We were determined to create a body of work that focuses on the heavy aspects- low ends and vocals. It’s very minimal in that regard. We’ve gone through different lineups and member additions, but we realized this needed to be just the two of us. It was very deliberate. Going into the studio, we weren’t sure how we were going to execute it, but we were sure of what we wanted to hear.”
After cobbling together demos in the Oakland walk-in closet where Terra slept at the time, the core sessions for Devoted took place in St. Augustine, FL. Terra and Dani spent two weeks in the studio with Jones writing and recording the bulk of material. They finished writing the final three tracks with Omar Rodriguez Lopez (At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta) in Los Angeles. Once the songs were chosen for the record, Jones dug in on production over the next several months, communicating across the country with the duo until the album was a realized vision.
Whether her music has slipped into your consciousness behind hit TV shows including Fox’s Lucifer, VICE,The Royals, Wentworth, BULL, So You Think You Can Dance, Mustangs FC, the trailer for VICELANDS’ World of Sports, Black Market, Reed Krakoff adds, or from her visually stunning live multi-media concerts, ANML’s message is strong, her voice is quirkily recognizable, and her passion is contagious. This Canadian born, LA based singer/songwriter/producer isn’t afraid to walk the edge in sound and in vision.
Puking rainbows, gun to head, exploding animals, human road kill, a pregnant woman on a cross… she will put herself in the way of comfort in order to bring her message, vision and feelings into the forefront, displayed through her lovingly charming Canadian personality, and fierce stage presence.
ANML’s live show utilizes interactive 3D mapped visuals projected onto a human-animal sized cage which surrounds her. The show leads the audience through a journey from embryo into confinement and ultimately freedom creating a one of a kind performance, featuring her live band comprised of 3 drummers and a small choir.
The first single and video off her forthcoming ep RELEASE! went out on Oct 3rd 2017, reaching millions in its first month, with the help of a poignant feature by BUZZFEED. ANML’s newest 6 song ep, plunges into the unavoidable letting-go’s of life; from death to reawakening, while living true to her coined genre, “avant-witch-pop”.
Limited advanced tickets $12