Going Off the Beaten Track with Lo Moon

LA’s best-kept secret? The highly addictive tunes from Lo Moon.

When you google Lo Moon, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any info on the elusive indie-pop trio. With a notable 6 million streams, crème de la crème producers, and three killer music videos, it’s surprising that they’ve remained so under the radar. The LA-based band first teased us last year with the release of their ethereal track “Loveless.” And then, nothing.

“We wanted to let the music lead, to let people organically come to it,” says Crisanta Baker, Lo Moon’s badass bassist. Instead of cranking out tracks for the sake of quantity, Lo Moon gives us what we really want—an organic approach to music in an age of consumption. What makes Lo Moon so special is just that—a quality-over-quantity attitude that reflects in their masterfully crafted tracks. We caught up with Crisanta to talk the band’s unconventional reveal, their recording process, and what’s in store.

So you’re a self-taught synth pro—how did you get into music?

My parents are both musicians, so music was a big part of my life growing up. I studied classical piano at age four and when I was twelve, I started playing guitar. I didn’t get into synths until a few years ago, but I love that it’s a whole new world to explore. Everything is exciting and unpredictable.

Tell us a little about Lo Moon. How did the band get started?

Matt started it with a few songs five years ago—“Loveless” is one of them. Matt and I met over dinner with some mutual friends and we talked about the Graceland documentary and David Bowie all night. We were instantly friends. He showed me the early version of “Loveless” and I obsessed over the sound. It was so intricate and beautiful. A couple of years ago, we met Sam. I feel like that’s when we really became a band. There was a place that only Sam could fill for me, Matt, and sonically with the band’s music.

You guys had a really unconventional way of breaking into the scene. Can you explain your approach?

We didn’t have an exact plan of how we’d share our music. We wanted to let the music lead, to let people organically come to it.

How would you describe the band’s artistic direction?

Musically and artistically, the direction is led by emotion. We want to come from an honest and real place—we call it “the feeling.” We ask, does this song, artwork, and album have “the feeling?” We have concepts and words in mind like oceanic, contrast, dark and light, ethereal, etc. Sometimes it takes a lot of searching and reworking to come to a place where we all feel like we’re moving in the right direction.

What is your songwriting and recording process like?

It depends on the song. Usually, Matt does the songwriting and comes to me and Sam. For some of the songs on the record, Matt will have an idea, a verse, or chorus that we’ll work on, or the song will come from a jam session. We all play different instruments, so we’ll try the same part and whatever has “the feeling” is what makes the record.

“Loveless” is such a standout track to me, accompanied by an incredible music video. Can you explain the process behind it all?

Thank you so much for saying so! Matt wrote “Loveless” five years ago in New York. During the recording process, we worked on the earlier version of the song. We added a second verse, chorus, different instrumentation, and different production elements. It was such a memorable part of becoming a band. The music video was directed by our friend Warren Fu. We were so lucky to have him—he’s such a talented director and wonderful friend. He came up with the concept and knew each of our personalities so well, so he put a lot of personal details into the video. It was such an incredible experience for all of us.

Who are your musical influences?

As most musicians like us, we love Radiohead. Matt also showed us the Blue Nile and Talk Talk which are big influences for us.

Best tour story?

We were playing a show in Canada with Phoenix, and Sam was getting merch out of the back of the van with the keys in his pocket…and the back door of the van closed behind him. I was in the back of the venue chatting away, just far enough not to hear him. He was in there for a good ten minutes pounding on the door until the guys from Phoenix came by on their way to the planetarium and rescued him.

If you could work with anyone, who would it be and why?

Brian Eno because of his incredible talent as a musician and producer. I love his unique approach to using instruments and synth playing. Also, I love his records (Discreet Music, Music for Airports) and the records he’s been a part of (David Bowie, Talking Heads).

What do you want people to take away from your music?

I would hope that people would take the same thing that I take from music that I love. The idea that someone somewhere wrote and played this song, and was doing it for the listener. I hope they feel the same emotions, the same happiness, the same pain. It’s about feeling human and connected to something. I like that it’s special and different in a way from visual art—you can take music wherever you go and have it be there for any and every part of your life. To be that tiny part of someone else’s life is such a beautiful idea to me.

What’s next for you and the band?

We have a few more weeks with London Grammar in Europe and after that, we have shows in the states with the War on Drugs. Early next year, we’ll be releasing our first full-length album. We can’t wait!

Check out Lo Moon’s new single “Thorns” + more on Soundcloud + Spotify.