Finding fresh music that sounds original and unique is often a daunting task. For Anemoia, it's the band's identity. Made up of Aaron Lebos (guitar), Andres Ferret (bass), and Armando Lopez (drums), the trio put their trust in each other, allowing each member to push their limits and test things out, culminating in Anemoia's third album, A Muser!
With three singles, "Curiosity," "Ghost Town," and "Flow," already seeing the light of day, Anemoia's sound feels relevant, bold, and captivating. With funk, indie, and psychedelic rock influences, A Muser!, which comes out on Friday, June 25, via La Reserva, feels like nothing else. The album's distinctive creation mirrors the way the band first came together.
"We've played together in a lot of different bands," Ferret tells New Times, remembering their first gig. "Aaron wasn't feeling like playing any of his songs, so he's like, 'Screw it! We're gonna make this entire gig up.' I thought it was gonna be a stupid idea, but it ended up being a really fun, really good vibe."
Instead of playing the songs they had rehearsed, the band created music on the spot and jammed for the rest of the night. Almost instantly, they realized they had something good going on and pulled out their phones and started recording.
"It was like an immediate band sound, but I still didn't think much of it until I heard the voice notes in my car, and I was like, Whoa! This is pretty badass," Lopez says.
It resulted from the chemistry and trust the three already had.
"We started to play a lot together in my old band — just a lot of different projects. I think the chemistry is something that can't be understated. It's intangible," Lebos adds.
After that fateful gig, they came together and started jamming and building their sound. Shortly after that, Anemoia was formed. Still, it takes more than one jam session and recording to create a band.
"There's also a 'be willing to try everything,' but also trust the other guys," Lebos explains. "This is part of that chemistry and connection, trust the other guys so that when they're on to something, and you don't know where it will end up, you let it ride a little bit."
"Our motto is that you have to be not afraid to try really bad ideas because the borderline between bad and cool is sometimes really thin," says Lopez.
A Muser! is the culmination of the hard work and experimenting the band has done over the years, but it's also what the trio believes to be the most authentic sound they've made together.
"Each album has had its own struggles," Ferret says. "Our parameters weren't the same for the first album. They weren't the same for the second. But I think this one, our minds have really clicked into what this project is. I think it's a really special album for that reason."
Every member had their hands in the recording process. No decision was made without every member being on board. The band invited Brian Potts of Miamibloco to record percussion for nearly every track.
"I think we're all on the same page as far as focusing and finding stuff that's unique and accessible. We all have similar parameters for this band. We want it to be accessible; we don't only want musicians as fans," Lebos says.
The music on A Muser! is undoubtedly a testament to that. Though it's almost an entirely instrumental body of work, every track is anchored by a melody. It features the kind of songs you can easily find yourself humming to throughout the day or, as Lopez puts it, "Music that's easy to listen to, but not easy listening."
Still, it wouldn't be Anemoia if the band did try something different. Two songs on the album feature vocals by Afrobeta's Cuci Amador and Rick Moon. For "Curiosity," Amador wrote all the lyrics and was free to make creative decisions. "I didn't want to box her in," Lopez says. "The only thing I told her was that this song has a mischievous, sexy vibe, and she ran with that. It was kind of like a match made in heaven. It just screamed Cuci because it's so dancey, high-energy, and playful, and that's her vibe."
Working with Moon on "Flow" was no different.
"Rick Moon had been talking about doing a track with us for a while. We sent him a bunch of our voice notes because that's how we continue to make music. We jam, record our voice notes and see what works from there. He picked one he liked, and we went from there," Lopez explains.
The band is celebrating the release of A Muser! on July 1 at Gramps alongside Electric Kif and Lemon City Trio. At the event, Anemoia is also releasing a limited-edition vinyl, Selections' 20-'23.
Anemoia, Electric Kif, and Lemon City Trio. 7 p.m. Saturday, July 1, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; gramps.com. Tickets cost $15 to $20 via eventbrite.com.