The cinematic world of LA indie-pop trio Cannons isn’t lost on listeners. Every guitar lick, every mesmeric bassline sets the scene, bringing sensuality and desire to the forefront. On 2019’s “Fire for You,” the trio struck sonic gold, producing a track so fluid and dance-ready, Netflix’s Never Have I Ever couldn’t resist airing it. It quickly became Billboard’s No.1 song on the alternative airplay charts, and with that, the world finally caught on to one of the most underrated bands of the past decade.
Fever Dream, Cannons’ third album, recaptures that buzz, and its follow-up is set for this fall. Ahead of the trio’s return to Life Is Beautiful, we caught up with vocalist Michelle Joy, who spoke about the novelty of meeting her bandmates Ryan Clapham (guitar) and Paul Davis (bass/keys) through Craigslist and more.
I love the origin story of how Paul and Ryan met you on Craigslist. Is it surreal to think about that first meeting now that you’ve been a band for 10 years? Yeah, it’s crazy. Usually people are looking for used couches on Craigslist (laughs). I wanted to start a band, and I wanted to grow with the people that I was working with. At the time, it seemed like the only place that you could find other artists, and I had no intention of making a living out of it. All of this beautiful experience that has unfolded … I didn’t even think about it. I just wanted to make music.
Who are you personally excited to catch at LIB this year? I would love to see The Killers again, because we just saw them at a festival we played in Minnesota a month or two ago. They put on such a phenomenal performance. I have never seen the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and I’ve been dying to see them for forever now. Those would be two tops for me.
There’s always a mood to your music, and Fever Dream is another example of that. Are there any specific albums or artists that inspired that sound? We’re always looking for new music to listen to or older music to revisit and give a deeper listen to. The last single we released, “Desire,” I know Paul was listening to a lot of Psychedelic Furs. I was listening to a lot of ’80s Madonna. We’re all huge fans of Depeche Mode, Fleetwood Mac, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music, and trying to bring back that nostalgic feel, but also with fresh, glossy production.
“Fire for You” is up over 150 million streams on Spotify. Did you know you had a hit when you were working on it in the studio? Not at all (laughs). The way we work on music is, the guys are always sending demos, right when we get home. We’ll work on whatever just feels like it wants to be born and made. With “Fire for You,” at first we didn’t really know what to do with it for a little bit. I forget how much time it took when we decided to revisit it, but it sparked some more ideas production-wise and then hook-wise for the guys a couple months later. It just started to flow. We’ll wait for the moment where it feels like this is meant to be made right now.
I’ve heard people refer to your music as the soundtrack to some of their hottest and heaviest date moments. How do you feel about that? It was not intentional; it just happened (laughs). But yeah, a lot of people tell us what kind of playlists we’re on for them and their partners (laughs). We hear a lot of stories at the meet and greets, how people listen to us and how it’s brought them together with their partners or rekindled relationships. It feels good to know we can be a part of everyone’s lives in very important moments for them.
CANNONS Sunday, 6:30 p.m., Downtown Stage.