By Simone Goldstone | NB Indy Soundcheck Columnist
Fresh-faced Orange County band Greer appeared on the Southern California music scene in 2018. Since then, their sincerity and musical vulnerability has helped them secure a record deal with Epitaph Records, sell out a nationwide tour, and become a need-to-know up-and-coming band.
Greer is named after the courageous and internet-famous Emma Greer, who passed away after a fight with pediatric cancer. She was the girlfriend of Greer drummer, Lucas.
The band’s guitarist, Corbin, lived in Newport Beach and fondly recalled teenage nights spent jumping off the Balboa pier, hanging out at the Fun Zone, and spending time on Duffy boats.
Each member cites Orange County as the best place to be raised. “We had the best childhood. It was the perfect place to grow up in.”
The band consists of lead singer Josiah, guitarist Corbin, drummer Lucas, and the bassist, Seth. In many ways, they’re like any other present-day OC teens. They grew up with social media, got into music from their parents, or in Corbin’s case, playing cello in the school orchestra.
They listened to a mix of modern and classic music (Pixies and King Kruel), loved learning about Orange County’s punk history, and hung out in the OC music scene. After forming a band to play at a high school homecoming dance, their music was such a hit that they played L.A.’s iconic venue The Smell just a month later.
After releasing their debut singles, “Song for Me” and “Bittersweet,” their fan base transformed them from a local band into a group that toured nationally with The Regrettes.
“They’re the best band to have your first tour with,” Josiah gushes.
Coming into their own at shockingly young ages, barely out of their late teens, they’ve released their EP “Lullaby for You,” which showcases five songs of unguarded heartache, romantic angst, and self-reflections that act to comfort their listeners through this period of generational upheaval.
It’s the group’s relatability and unabashed openness with personal struggles that make the band both authentic and on trend at the same time. This creates a great mix of being both approachable and something of a role-model that fans can look up to.
And what is this trend that this new generation is trying to establish? Emotional vulnerability, especially for guys, who for many generations didn’t talk about their feelings at all. It’s this breaking down of masculine concepts that’s endearing the band to their fans and audiences.
“We’re all pretty [messed up] from generations not talking about their feelings. It’s the cool guy concept,” agreed the band members. “We all had upbringings where we were encouraged to talk about our emotions. We’re hoping that the message gets through to young boys that you don’t have to be cool.”
Lucas acts as a sage for many fans who experienced grief. After losing his girlfriend, Emma, he talks openly about navigating his feelings and finding the good in crisis. “Grief is a really individual process and it’s about how prepared you are and making preparations beforehand if possible,” said Lucas. “It’ll never really end, but it becomes more normal and there’s a positive no matter what.”
It’s this self-awareness and eagerness to help their fans that sets this band apart and shapes the new generation to extend empathy and compassion in a world rocked by so many upheavals these past few years.
Musically, the group’s catchy songs are inspired by myriad influences, ranging from the Beatles (after a friendly debate of who is the superior Beatle), to Rio Kiley. Their songs are catchy, refreshing, experimental, and nostalgic. You can hear the band trying out different sounds and themes as they carve out their musical identity. Wonderfully contemporary and yet familiar, the band has a lot to be proud of and a brilliant future waiting.
As the band explains, “we’re still figuring out what we want to say and how to say it.”
With so much maturity, talent, and willingness to improve, Greer has become the up-and-coming local band to know, or maybe they’ve already arrived. With a genuine earnestness that’s irresistibly captivating, I can’t wait to hear their first full-length album and see them at their much-anticipated live shows.
For more information, visit www.GreerTheBand.com.