If you’re a fan of trashy television, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard the dreamy atmospheric tunes of Moxi. The indie pop duo’s music has been featured in everything from Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Total Divas to The Young and the Restless and Made in Chelsea, but Anna and Andy Toy are far more focused on creating music that they can honestly stand behind rather than worrying about what might get picked up for the next TV spot.
“We call our music ambient pop or dream pop, but we really just like to write the music that we want to listen to,” Andy says. “We really just try to stay away from trends and play the music that we like.”
“A lot of people have been calling our music ‘goth’ because it’s got some dark vibes to it, which is kind of funny to me,” Anna says. “I think it’s kind of dancey, dreamy, and really fun. We try to create a dream world with our music and even in our live shows.”
With Anna’s vocals leading the charge around Andy’s keyboard-created ambiance, Moxi’s soundscapes feel as ethereal as the clouded lighting they use during their live shows. With every passing track, the duo’s influences like Beach House and Phantogram seem to fall more by the wayside as they venture into more unique territory. On their recently released third EP, Figures Bathed in Light, each of the six tracks gives an atmospheric look into both the metaphysical and hard realities of life — or at least what they were feeling when the pair created the record.
“We went to Big Bear last weekend, rented a cabin, holed ourselves up for a weekend, and wrote pretty much the entire EP during that,” Anna says. “It’s got a lot of songs about spirituality and light and dark themes, but then we also write a lot about personal events too.”
After meeting about six years ago, Anna and Andy quickly discovered the chemistry they had as lifelong musicians. While Anna had been writing tunes since she was 13, Andy grew up dreaming of being a session and touring keyboard player — a goal he accomplished for several years as an adult. But after working with numerous major artists and spending the bulk of the last year touring with Miguel, Andy believed even stronger in Anna’s thought that there’s just no substitute for creating something you’re truly passionate about.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists and musicians, but there’s nothing quite like working for yourself, making music that you’re 100 percent behind and absolutely believe in,” Andy says. “I think the whole point of music and art for me is to connect emotionally on some level with our listeners.”
“With this last record, I realized that writing music is what I love to do the most,” Anna says. “Writing a song and having even just one person tell me they connected to it or felt understood through our music makes me never want to stop. I think we’re in it for the long haul now.”
Along with the new EP, Moxi’s also preparing for a hometown show at the Wayfarer on Thursday, September 28 along with Monogem. Considering that the duo spent a good chunk of the last five years cutting their teeth in Los Angeles’ music scene, the welcoming vibe of many OC shows has been quite the pleasant experience for Moxi. In Anna’s eyes, it’s the benefit of performing in a less massive and oversaturated space. For Andy, it’s all about the closer connections between artists and industry folks.
“The community between musicians and producers and bands that we have in Orange County is something really special that you don’t see as much in LA,” Andy says. “It seems like all of the Orange County bands respect and support each other as much as possible.”
Moxi perform with Monogem at the Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa. (949) 764-0039, www.wayfarecm.com, Friday, Sep. 28, $8. 21+.
Josh Chesler used to play baseball for some pretty cool teams, but now he just writes about awesome stuff like tattoos, music, MMA and sneakers. He enjoys injuring himself by skateboarding, training for fights, and playing musical instruments in his off time.