Since forming in fall 2018, Southern California-bred alt-rock band Greer have moved forward with incredible momentum, fueled by their immaculate songwriting and unguarded sincerity. Originally joining forces for a one-off gig at a high school homecoming dance, Greer played their first official show at L.A.’s iconic D.I.Y. venue The Smell a month later, then quickly self-released their magnetic debut single “Song for Me.” As “Song for Me” and follow-up single “Bittersweet” earned the band a devoted fanbase, Greer soon landed a deal with Epitaph Records and set to work on their debut EP Lullaby for You—a five-song project that transforms moments of profound heartache and romantic angst into massively catchy pop songs.
Produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile, Beck), Lullaby for You showcases the pure sensitivity at the heart of Greer’s music, each song brightened by their summery melodies and charismatic energy. All in their late teens, the band bring their sophisticated musicality to tracks like “Aeroplane”: a tender reflection on longing and regret that slowly unfolds as a string-accented epic. On “Bye Bye Baby,” Greer prove the depth of their musical knowledge, drawing inspiration from ’60s doo-wop and delivering a breakup anthem both heavy-hearted and infectious. And on “Understand,” Greer reveal their gift for dreaming up complex yet commanding guitar parts, the track’s hypnotic riffs infinitely amplifying its moody urgency.
Based in Costa Mesa, Greer linked up through the local music scene, where Seth and Corbin’s previous band had played in local clubs for several years. After Lucas turned up backstage at one of their shows, he and Seth began writing songs together. Once they’d brought Josiah into the fold, the trio accepted an offer to perform at a homecoming dance just weeks away. Quickly looping in Corbin, the band felt an immediate chemistry and wrote a complete setlist in two weeks’ time. “The first time we ever played with Corbin it all just clicked. The guitars and harmonies and everything just fell into place,” says Josiah.
When it came time to pick a name, the band chose to pay homage to Lucas’s former girlfriend Emma Greer DiBiase, who died at age 16 from a rare form of cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. With Emma based in North Carolina, the two first connected via social media in 2015 and soon began traveling cross-country to visit each other. Although Emma was in remission at the start of their long-distance relationship, her cancer returned in early 2016, leaving her with only two months to live. “The thing about Emma was she was so strong the whole time, and never let it get to her,” says Lucas. “Even when she was so sick, she’d be the one trying to comfort everyone and make them feel better—that’s what made her happy in her last moments. She had such a huge impact on my life, so it just felt right to name the band after her.”
With their homecoming gig an undeniable success, Greer next posted a video of a four-song acoustic set performed in a friend’s bedroom. That set caught the attention of a manager, eventually paving the way for their signing to Epitaph. As they began preparing for the making of Lullaby for You, Greer embarked on a tour with The Regrettes, an experience they describe as highly formative in shaping their sound. “We’d only ever played maybe ten shows before that, and going on tour was huge in terms of helping us find our groove,” says Lucas.
As its songs drift from the folky charm of “Paper Birds” to the harmony-drenched pop of “Stay Clear,” Lullaby for You spotlights the long-cultivated talent each Greer member brings to the table. A singer for almost his entire life, Josiah once aspired to be a soul/R&B vocalist, then changed course upon discovering early-’00s indie-rock acts like Rilo Kiley in his mid-teens (“I found those bands through my older sister—that’s all she listened to back then, and I was always just hanging out in her room,” he says). Corbin got his start singing in choir as a kindergartener and began playing cello in his school’s orchestra at the age of nine, later ditching cello for guitar. “When I was in eighth grade some of my friends wanted to start a band, and I told them I knew how to play guitar even though I didn’t,” he says. “My dad plays guitar and had some books lying around, so one night I learned about 200 chords and just kept faking it till I made it.” Growing up with his father’s drumkit in the garage, Lucas took lessons as a kid but soon quit, giving up on drumming until he crossed paths with Seth in high school. “At first I told myself I’d play drums until we found someone else, because what I really wanted to be was a guitarist,” says Lucas. “But then I stuck with it and now I love it so much—it’s who I am and what I do.” Also born into a musical family, Seth mastered bass with the help of his father, who played in a pop-punk band in the ’90s. “I started when I was eight and just kept going,” Seth says. “My dad had a collection of basses and I’d experiment with all of them, trying to learn all these Iron Maiden songs—all I did was practice, practice, practice, every single day for years.”
Having nearly sold out all of their forthcoming North American tour—on the strength of only two released songs—Greer hope to extend their palpable sense of connection to members of the crowd. “We want to make them feel as comfortable as possible at our shows,” Josiah says. To that end, Josiah aims for genuine intimacy in his stage banter, including moments of total transparency like sharing the story behind his ever-present orange beanie (“It belonged to a friend of mine who overdosed a couple years ago; he wore this hat every day, so now I wear it every day too,” he explains). Their openness comes from an overwhelming urge to build true camaraderie with their fanbase.