Cereus Bright are excited to share the second single off their forthcoming debut album, Excuses, due out July 29th. The track, “American Dream,” is premiering on Consequence of Sound today, who praise the song’s “honeyed harmonies and cheery acoustic guitar” that augment its sober message. Far from reflecting a gauzy view of the United States, the band shares that the song was inspired by debunking the myth of the “American Dream” and that “writing this song was a way for us to vent some of our frustration.” Excuses was produced by the Knoxville band’s own Evan Ford and mixed by Tom Schick (Wilco, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Beck) at Wilco’s Chicago Studio, creating a powerful, unique, and expansive sound. At the moment, Cereus Bright is on a national “Closeup” tour, a series of hand-crafted dates across the United States where they are bringing their songs to life in intimate spaces and venues. Upcoming dates are listed below.
Pre-Order Excuses via Pledgemusic
Cereus Bright was born out of a blind love of playing music. Meeting each other on a porch in Knoxville, TN, founding members Tyler Anthony and Evan Ford connected over a shared passion–connecting with people by writing and performing meaningful, melodic songs. “We didn’t know what we were doing at the beginning,” recalls Anthony (acoustic guitar, vocals). “Evan and I wanted to play music and were ready to work hard. So we made a couple EPs and started travelling around the South playing for whoever would listen. We were learning as we went.”
They quickly found kindred spirits in Luke Bowers (drums), Matt Nelson (bass), and Jake Smith (electric guitar). Jazz performers by trade, the trio’s musicality complemented the raw energy of Anthony and Ford, and Cereus Bright soon became a five-piece. “We knew right away that we wanted these guys in the band,” says Ford (mandolin, electric guitar, vocals). “Every song felt better with them playing it; we could do more with the arrangements and sound. It made us even more excited to get out there and play.”
So that’s what they did. In the coming year, Cereus Bright played over a hundred tour dates across the country, opening for acts like Sturgill Simpson, The Oh Hellos, Philip Philips and The Lone Bellow. They released videos racking up over 200,000 views and gained over a million plays on Spotify, and gathered thousands of fans.
Their debut album Excuses, recorded at a serene farm nestled in the rolling hills outside of Knoxville, is a decisive step forward from their past EPs, showing newfound complexity in songwriting, arrangements and sound. The full band’s musicality and cohesion shines, at times dipping into folk influences of Bob Dylan and Damien Rice and growing to rock-and-roll heights inspired by Wilco and The Band. Ford recalls, “We decided to evaluate everything we had done in the past and see if it belonged in the future. It was a process of figuring out who we are as a band. What we ended up with is an album that’s more mature, sonically diverse, and has more to say than anything we’ve put out. ”
Upcoming Tour Dates:
30 – Greensboro, NC – Resonate Greensboro
09 – Atlanta, GA – TBA
15 – Birmingham, AL – Small Sages
05 – Marshfield, WI – Vox Music Series
06 – Appleton, WI – Mile of Music
12 – Burlington, WI – Tall Tales Festival
19 – Chicago, IL – TBA
20 – Kalamazoo, MI – Audiotree Music Festival
30 – Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre