“TEMPTED” by Le Ra celebrates female sexual empowerment with a sensual new video.

Le Ra, TEMPTED

Photo by Omar De León

There’s various schools of thought as to whether or not bands should be releasing music during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Touring and playing shows is out of the question in most states, making it hard to promote new music and sell new merch and records.

But a global pandemic hasn’t stopped musicians from releasing new music. Le Ra, a Los Angeles/Tijuana-based garage rock band, is one of these groups. The four-piece has released a new music video for the song “TEMPTED”, a tune that taps into female sexual empowerment.

Female sexuality is historically not talked about that much, but “TEMPTED” puts it all out in the open. A driving drum beat, aggressive psych guitars, and raspy vocals add to the overall sexual energy of the song which was recorded and produced by Alejandra Robles Luna (Le Butcherettes).

Produced by video producer Sandra Cardenas (who previously produced Le Ra’s video for “Sin Nombre”), “TEMPTED’s” sensual dream-like video stars Le Ra’s singer-guitarist Monica Mendoza. It starts with her flirting with the camera holding crystal balls, smoking a joint, and caressing a knife, lingerie clearly in sight.

Mendoza dances through the streets of Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood in between videos of passionate images — fire, flowers, and couples get busyyyyy!

Mendoza (also of collective Grrrl Independent Ladies) says “TEMPTED” touches on the encounter of barriers when not complying with relationships and sexualities’ social constructs. That means open relationships, queer love, love without labels — it’s a celebration of people doing what they wanna do with who they wanna do it with!

“There’s a line where I say ‘our bodies won’t be pure when parting ways, but I will think of you when riding waves’ which embodies the state of being vulnerable, free and independent from a lover,” Mendoza tells ListenSD over email.

Mendoza says that she trusted Cardenas’ ideas completely — even if that meant showing a bit more skin on camera. “If we were going to do this and truly capture what feeling empowered in your own skin looks like, then I wanted to embody that in the most sincere and transparent way,” she says.

The video was originally going to include a more elaborate script and the rest of the band (members Ida Naughton, Maribel Luna, and Luis Lopez) but then the stay in place orders hit California, thus halting those plans. Mendoza and Cardenas captured what footage they could and then improvised the rest — truly a music video created in the time of coronavirus.

COVID-19 also had an impact on other songs Le Ra planned to release: “TEMPTED” was originally part of a three song EP from Le Ra, but the band decided to release the three songs over the course of several months.

“It felt like a good way to stay connected with the community and keep the momentum going especially during these times,” says Mendoza.

By: Lara McCaffrey

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