Cannons frontwoman Michelle Joy in music video

Cannons Took Off Slowly, but Now They’re About To Explode

Michelle Joy and her bandmates continue to flourish almost 10 years down the line.

Cannons first formed in 2013 and has only grown since then. As incredible as it sounds, Cannons first took off because of a Craigslist ad. In 2013, lead vocalist Michelle Joy posted listings on the website in search of a band that needed a singer — and that is what she found. Soon after, guitarist Ryan Clapham and bassist Paul Davis linked with Joy and the three formed a band.

Previously, Clapham and Davis were childhood friends who’d composed music together during their teenage years. After appointing Joy as their band’s frontwoman, they all naturally began working together. The band, united in talent and ambition, created some fine music.

In an interview with Audacy, Clapham spoke on the origins of the band: “The first two tracks we did with Michelle before really meeting up with her, were in my opinion, pretty different than the direction it’s gone in the last year and a half. It took a little bit for us to know her and for her to know us and get that vibe going. It wasn’t a choice we made, it just kind of organically happened.”

Without even meeting in person, the trio was able to successfully work together and produce two tracks. From then on, the group continued what they were doing and the music spoke for itself.

In 2014, Cannons released “Up All Night,” a mini album that consisted of four tracks. The project was released independently, which made it more personal to their brand. This was just the beginning, however. As an indie band, they were only known by a small group of fans who’d discovered their music, but this would soon change.

The tracks and albums they produced helped their careers take off. During the next few years, the trio released even more content independently, including an EP in 2018 titled “In a Heartbeat” that consisted of five tracks.

The track that would go down as their biggest success would be released in 2019. The song, “Fire For You,” was attached to their album “Shadows” and peaked the following year. As their fame has grown, listeners have continued to stream the song and it has become even more popular.

After this track received positive feedback, the band produced a unique music video. The video is set in a roller skating rink, flashing to scenes of a scorned woman played by Joy, who consoles herself with alcohol, music and humor. Also, in compliance with the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, the music video features dancers on roller skates performing with face masks. As the dancers skate on the rink, the band performs their song under dimmed lights. The use of light neon colors and a dark, night-like background gives the video an eye-pleasing aesthetic. Between pretty visuals, soft lyrics and the song’s down-tempo synth beats, the track and video are easy to enjoy.

The track has scored over a million streams and earned the band many accolades. In early 2021, the song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart, marking another milestone for the band. “Fire For You” got so much attention it received a key placement in the popular Netflix showNever Have I Ever.” The song is played in the background of one of the most hyped scenes in the show’s first season. In 2021, the song was used in two more shows, “American Horror Stories” and “Sex/Life,” adding to its success even more. This year, the Amazon Prime show “The Summer I Turned Pretty” also featured the song in a very low-key way.

Over time, the song has grown in popularity on TikTok as well, with the song being used in over 24,000 videos on the platform. Since their breakthrough moment in 2020, the band has dropped even more content. They put their own spin on well-known songs such as “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon and “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen. Cannons layers their indie-pop synth beats over the original lyrics and tempo of these songs in their covers.

Though they initially started out as an independent band, they have come a long way. In 2021, the band signed to Columbia Records. Their most recent album released through the new label, “Fever Dream” (2022), continues to grow in popularity and has subsequently attracted more attention for the band. From the band’s humble beginnings to their present-day success, the Cannons’ story could be turned into a movie.

This band continues to attract attention for their unique and addicting sound. They are slowly but surely getting the recognition they deserve. Up next in their careers, the band is set to go on tour with The Knocks, an electronic music duo. The tour will begin at the end of September and further testify to the band’s newfound success. The talented trio will continue to thrive with their distinctive sound and will drop more music in the future.

In the span of almost a decade, Cannons has come a long way from the passion project of two childhood buddies and a vocalist looking for a gig.

“After dedicating 10+ years of our lives to giving all of our hearts and souls to the gift of creating music magical enough for fans like you, there are so many people we’d like to shout out for their hard work, love, support and belief in Cannons, but, we must say, in the end, it truly does all come back to our beloved fans,” wrote @Cannonstheband in an Instagram post announcing the drop of their newest album.

As of now, fans are excited by their new music and upcoming tour, and the prospect of what is to come for Cannons.

Ally Najera, California State University, Northridge


Ally Najera

California State University, Northridge
Broadcast Journalism, Minor in Marketing

I am currently studying broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing. I read religiously and love watching films. I am very passionate about words. I live and breathe pop culture – and love to share my thoughts.

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