The Mojave is a rain-shadow desert, which means that the mountains block rain weather systems, casting a “shadow” behind them. In the arid heat, one can find the kind of solitude needed to write music, sheltered from the sun by the summit’s back. Singer-Songwriter AC Sapphire, aka Annachristie Sadler, spent five years meditating out there in the badlands, only to find herself now in Portland, Oregon with an EP, Omni Present, due in February; its first single, “Mini Tour,” premiering today; and a full-length tour in the works.
Sapphire began her music career in Sisters3, with her siblings Beatrice and Cassandra by her side. The first “mini tour” they went on was not far from their hometown Downingtown, PA; she got on the road with three other local Philadelphia bands (The Naughty Naughty Nurses, The Extraordinaries and The Clouds). “I have memory of my dear friend ripping up the Bible from the hotel drawer and us rolling joints with some of the torn out pages,” she says, “in combination with a breakup that I was going through at the time – one of those situations where you are on Facebook, scrolling, and get drawn in and stuck on your ex’s photos. This song is about wanting to get drunk to forget and wanting to get sober to remember and wanting to go back to simpler, younger times of my first mini tour.”
After eight years on the road, Sisters3 called it quits. Moving to the desert was part of an escape plan. “The time in between Sisters3 ending and me moving to the Mojave desert was a grieving and healing time for me, trying to not give up on music and finding my own voice as a solo artist,” Sapphire admitted – a difficult task when you’re used to performing in three-part-harmony, often a capella, at live shows.
On “Mini Tour,” Sapphire utilizes harmony, but this time it’s her own voice filling up the room, echoing along the canyons. “I want to fill my cup, I want to get fucked up and not remember you, baby,” she breathes, giving the lyrics the kind of effortless cool one pictures of a desert musician. “Mini Tour” was conceived along with a bit of good luck: she found $5 in the pocket of a jacket she hadn’t worn since her first mini tour. That bit of cash provoked a slew of memories from the good ole days, the kind of faded flashbacks that you can’t find on social media. There’s something warm and cozy about the song itself, a memory blanket of sorts.
“Mini Tour” was mixed and mastered in Joshua Tree and Portland, a befitting start to a song that brings to mind an Astro van full of guitars heading full speed across the sand. With the rain-shadows of the Mojave behind her, Sapphire has become greatly enamored with Portland and is planning on making use of recent heartbreak for her next inspiration (“I’ll be working on some of those songs once the dust settles,” she says). In the meantime, she’ll be hitting the road in 2020, with her first big gig taking place at the legendary desert hotspot Pappy & Harriet’s on March 12th.