Lorely Rodriguez, the artist known as Empress Of, recorded her new album, Us, all over Southern California. Topanga Canyon. Ojai. It was the first time she tried to record music this way-sequestered, for a month at a time, in between touring and performing. She would later invite collaborators-Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), LA production duo Sam Griesemer and Jerome Potter of DJDS, Spanish electronic producer Pional-but the resulting project remains a showcase of Rodriguez' skill both as a lyricist and a producer.