words & interview by sammy maine
Anemone is the project of Montreal natives Chloé Soldevila, Miles Dupire-Gagnon and Gabriel Lambert. They create expansive, psych-inspired desert pop, with a five-piece live band transporting their sound to a bursting, euphoric crescendo. With a few singles behind them, Anemone are quickly gaining a reputation for their charming output – one that asks its listeners to lose their inhibitions, to fall in love, to just get in the car and drive. Ahead of the release of their new EP Baby Only You & I, we spoke to frontwoman Soldevila about her inspirations for the project, as well as premiering one of the EP’s best tracks, “Bout De Toi.” Scroll down to read the interview and stream the track in full below.
Photography seems to be a big part of your journey to Anemone. Does visual inspiration still play a big part when it comes to songwriting? Do you maybe have an image in your head of how you want a certain track to come across?
I want to convey an image of a deep landscape, of strength and infinite possibilities. Photography allowed me to get in touch with my emotions at first – I built up my memories through numerous collections of moments frozen in time, until the day I was able to understand how I could finally express my feelings through music. I believe photography let me experience a lot in life, but the drive to collect more and more images allowed me to live so much that eventually I felt I needed a new medium of expression. I like to think of music as having a greater human rhythmical intensity.
Your live show is super energetic. Was it always your intention to write music that makes people want to move?
I don’t think I have ever even thought about it, or made it a ”purpose”, but it is really who I am – I am very energetic in the way that I live, experience and grow. My bandmates are like that too. I need to create high energy rhythm and motorik repetitive beat to process my emotions. I also think it’s such a powerful trip to play such a show as a band and share with the public.
On the subject of moving, I liked the bit in your bio that says Anemone aims to capture “the feeling of dancing and forgetting about everything” Do you go out dancing a lot? Would you say that’s how you initially connect with music?
Yes, the feeling of moving to a beat, feeling it in your heart, in any given situation.
Despite some melancholy themes, there’s also a sense of optimism in your music. Would you say you’re an optimistic person?
Yes, most of the time 😉 . The music can be melancholic at times, but overall it is about growing and having a better, sunnier outlook on harder times. I tend to write music about how you can be strong and move forward through a hurtful experience. Life is just an epic ride, you might as well make the most of it and have a good time.
Tell me about the inspirations for “Bout De Toi”?
Ahhh, Bout De Toi. My inspiration is that I am so in love! One night, I was feeling restless and dreaming about my lover who was at the other end of the world, touring. I created a percussion pattern that I played back on repeat over and over through the night, dancing in my head. The original version of this will actually be on the EP (Party Theme). I would have done anything to see him at that moment in time, to surprise him – writing this song allowed me to express a very big feeling of love and transform it into a hypnotizing rhythm that made me dance all night and will make us dance forever. Recording it and building it with the band was such a dream, our drummer Miles had to play percussions for several days to get the recording! It’s also my favorite song to play live, because it is the only one where I don’t play any instrument and I actually get the chance to dance, perform 100% and groove to the musical talent of the other people in the band who I love so much.
The 70s seems to come into play both in your songwriting and in the band’s overall style. What is it about that decade that speaks to you as an artist?
I love the rock’n’roll, electronic dance music and style that has come out of that decade, late 60’s and 70’s. I’ve definitely been inspired so much by it, but I am also inspired by many other things, not to mention other decades of music as well. I do go through phases, but somehow they all seem to link together.
There’s definitely a sunny California vibe too and although Montreal is beautiful in the summer, it has really long winters. Would you say Anemone is a way to get through those cold months?
I think my spanish origin has really made me addicted to the sunshine, and I need it to feel alive and peaceful. I’ve spent quite some time in warm California, and in Spain. By the sea – that has inspired me very much. Anemone has definitely helped me go through these cold months, especially this winter. We spent lots of time working in the studio playing warm, warm beats, looking out the window to beautiful white and sunny snow. We dream of spending winters elsewhere.
Does Anemone allow you a way of expressing yourself that previous projects didn’t? Or has it been a natural progression to this point?
It’s just a natural progression – Anemone is my only project, and through it my own personal way of writing has grown. I’ve also progressed a lot from working and collaborating with my Anemone partners in crime, Miles, Gabriel, Zach and Samuel.
Your debut EP is out later this month. What does this collection of songs signify for the Anemone project? What would you like it to say about the band?
Yeahhh, we are so happy! I wish for it to speak for itself. We have been working on different recordings for a while now. This record is a collection of my most recent songwriting and our most spontaneous recordings, that reflects who I am and who we are. It’s an album for an alive and hypnotic moment – screaming upon a rooftop on a summer night with your favourite person. We’re honestly thrilled to finally share something. It is a very significant accomplishment and I feel so thankful and blessed to have been able to do it with such amazing people. I can’t wait to share it and perform it, nor can I wait for the next one.
Baby Only You & I is out April 27, via Luminelle Recordings
Pre-order it here