With their catchy guitar riffs, punk rock lyricism, and endless pursuit of the rock and roll dream, Nashville-based indie alt-rockers The Cancellations are aiming to leave their mark on the scene.
The Cancellations were formed by Elijah Jones (originally part of The Constellations), who shipped up from Atlanta to Nashville in 2014 to get in the thick of the music rat race. Jones soon teamed up with Erik Matthijs to create Elijah Jones & The Tenderness, who focused more on stripped down 60s rock, which was a departure from his previous band.
As bands often do, it dissolved, and led Jones and Matthijs to regroup with a few familiar Nashville faces that included Ethan Hall (guitar), Jared Wuestenberg (bass), and Nicholas Ferrell (drums), and so The Cancellations were born. With Jones on lead vocals and Matthijs taking the reigns on guitar, the group has been off and running since, determined to make a name for themselves and relay important messages along the way.
The band’s main messages within their music deal with self-discovery, substance abuse, and heartbreak, and these themes shine through tenfold with the group’s newest single, “Schizophrenic Blues”, which dropped March 18th.
This fuzzy garage rock tune resonates from the get go, as Jones’ somewhat gravelly yet melodic vocals take center stage. The punk-pop guitar driving through the track from Matthijs and Hall are also a highlight, especially as they take over after the heartfelt piano playing in the intro to the song, which acts as a unique juxtaposition to the heavier track.
Naturally, “Schizophrenic Blues” touches on mental illness and mental health, but does so with a more upbeat vibe. With the opening lines, “Hearing voices in my head but they don’t know what to say / Been off my medication now for 28 days,” The Cancellations immediately bring us all in for a visceral reality check of how difficult mental illness is. Now more than ever there are many outspoken advocates for mental health and mental well-being, and this group appears to be yet another for the deeply important subject.
With their hard-driving instrumentation and true to life lyrics, The Cancellations bring forth the unique ability to discuss the world around them in perhaps the most important and resonating way- through the power of song.