Cereus Bright will have a homecoming of sorts to the band's defining and pivotal musical performance on Saturday night: The Square Room.
A modern folk band, Cereus Bright's core is comprised of Evan Ford, lead guitar and mandolin, and Tyler Anthony, lead vocals, guitar and piano.
Ford and Anthony are frequently joined by other members, including Luke Bowers on the drums, Matt Nelson on the bass, a violinist and a cellist.
"We're coming back and we have a new song out, a new EP forthcoming and we just really want to up the ante," Ford said. "We have a couple extra members joining us and some new songs that will be surprises for people to hear and a lot of new merchandise."
The band's new single, "Happier Than Me," was released earlier this week on iTunes, and an EP of the same name will follow Nov. 12.
"'Happier Than Me' is a song about what happens after a relationship," said Ford, a junior in philosophy and economics. "There's really no way to get away from people. We still see them every day through social media and all these things. And it creates a sort of competition and lingering anger because it's not like they're out of your life.
"They're still there, haunting you."
The beginning of Cereus Bright's legitimacy as a band, Anthony said, was marked by a sold-out performance at The Square Room to celebrate the release of the group's first EP.
Bringing to life the visions of the band's members.
"When I met Evan, he just really matched my ambition and we fit together well in terms of what we bring to the table," Anthony said. "We've grown a lot in the past year and I think we're better able to communicate our message."
Anthony, a creative consultant outside of the band, draws his songwriting inspiration from life experiences.
"For me, music is often this processing agent," Anthony said. "It's how I filter through the things that I'm feeling or experiencing. My hope is that I can capture a story or an emotion and display it in a way that other people can connect with."
Along with the standard themes of love and heartbreak, their song lyrics emphasize perspective.
"One of the things about Knoxville that we love is this weird mix of young and old, conservative and progressive," said Ford, whose musical influences include Damien Rice, Sufjan Stevens and Iron and Wine. "We get to encounter a lot of people who have very different perspectives here."
As a folk band, Cereus Bright attempts to stay true to the roots of the genre.
"If you think about Appalachia, folk music was used as a means of escape," Ford said. "People would get together at the end of the week or night or shift and they would play music. And that was their way of having a community and escaping.
"Folk music is supposed to be very human and break down some of these walls between the listener and the singer."
Ford hopes to make an impact on the audience at Saturday night's show.
"We want you to come away feeling energized by music and feeling like you're ready to fall in love again," Ford said. "There's something about going to a great show that makes your life better for like a week.
"And we're hoping to hit that week mark."
Cereus Bright will perform at The Square Room this Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students. The song "Happier Than Me" is available on iTunes.