Something about the inception of Knoxville’s Cereus Bright rings of sweet serendipity. I mean, hey, we’ve all chatted up a stranger at a party or at a mutual friend’s house, making small talk on the scale from amusing to awkward… but most of us don’t come out of these chance meetings with a band that goes on to social media glory. So it goes for singers/guitar players Tyler Anthony and Evan Ford (who also plays the mandolin), who sensed each other’s genuine passion for music and soon enough were cutting a pair of EPs and setting out on the road, where they picked up a trio of jazz musicians, Luke Bowers (drums), Matt Nelson (bass), and Jake Smith (electric guitar) to round out the duo’s sound and cement the line-up. A little over a year ago, the five-piece sequestered themselves in a cabin on a farm outside of Knoxville, and before they knew it, were sending their tunes off to Wilco’s studio in Chicago, where it was mixed by Tom Schick, known for his work with Wilco, Ryan Adams and Real Estate. The result is Excuses, the band’s full-length debut, out today.
Today, Elmore is premiering “Wasted Time” from the new release, a track that proves the band’s innate knack for crafting stick-in-your-head indie-rock melodies. The five members fill up space, but never overwhelm, creating a sound that feels at once both elegantly elemental and yet robust. Breezy harmonies that recall folksy darlings Fleet Foxes break out into plaintive lead vocals, imbuing the track with a dreamy sense of longing. The guys told Elmore about the push and pull that fuels the track; “We wrote this song about the realization you can have in a relationship that you need to let go but you can’t. Even though the song feels happy, underneath it’s pretty sad, which is usually how those moments feel.”
Listen to “Wasted Time” below, and pick up a copy of Excuses here.