In photographs, Los Angeles-based producer-performer Ryan Marshall Lawhon, a.k.a. Mating Ritual, often sports a somewhat pensive expression, evoking the air of non-ironic ennui usually seen on runway models. Mating Ritual's music, however, cancels out any indication of boredom or tedium, instead revealing a crazy amount of enthusiasm, energy and inventiveness.
Lawhon refers to his raspy-yet-bright voice and textured, synth-laden, garage-guitar melodies as "post-genre-pop," a good description of the tracks on Mating Ritual's first full-length release, How You Gonna Stop It? (self-released, Jan. 2017). Like Lawhon, there's more than meets the eye on the album: "Look the Other Way" has a cheery vibe, but both lyrics and delivery reveal a deeper message.
With Mating Ritual on the rise, and plans to release a double album later this year, Lawhon will no doubt be hitting new heights. The Feb. 3 show at Reef is an excellent opportunity to catch him in an intimate setting with utterly danceable Satchmode.