“I have always been drawn to wolves and the image of howling at a crescent moon. One of my favorite guitars was actually made from the wood of a black walnut tree in the Stephen King film, Cujo. This idea of a sweet dog getting bit by a rabid bat and turning into an unrecognizable monster always intrigued me. I think we all have scars of some kind. The phrase Cujo Moon is a metaphor for this hidden pain that changes us...for better or worse.”
After a 3 year stint in the Nashville based pysch-rock outfit The Wild Jays, lead singer/guitarist Trevor Willmott found himself at both a musical and spiritual crossroads. The band was a fresh start just a few years earlier, sharing stages with national touring artists like Mild High Club, Okey Dokey, Liz Cooper & The Stampede, and Twiggs. Unfortunately, the band lost momentum during the recording of their sophomore album, after losing their close friend, and number one supporter, in a tragic car accident.
Officially disbanding in late 2017, Willmott began exploring other musical outlets trying to find a new sense of purpose as both a songwriter and producer. This led to the birth of Cujo Moon ─ a revival of his songwriting roots in alternative folk. The production is reminiscent of Neon Rain (Willmott’s previous acoustic duo with friend and drumming virtuoso Vinay Shroff) which was featured on Coldplay’s website for their song “To The Moon” and highlighted by Derek Webb for their second album “Wintersong.” Cujo Moon takes the same moody and minimalist approach but fuses it with a more layered and atmospheric sound full of strings, synths, and dramatic builds.
“I knew I needed time and space to sort out my emotions. Many things were changing in my life and I was seeking direction. Though I loved the electrified excitement of a project like The Wild Jays, returning to a more organic and intimate sound felt right. It was my natural safe haven for many years.”
Now partnered with Tone Tree Music, alongside artists like Joy Williams (of The Civil Wars), Svrcina, Katie Herzig, Matthew Perryman Jones, Molly Parden, Lydia Luce, and Becca Mancari, Cujo Moon has music slated for release throughout 2020 and 2021. So far, the songs have been written, recorded, and produced by Willmott in his home studio on the west side of Nashville, TN. The sounds coming out reflect an introspective artist at play in a familiar albeit isolated environment, drawing from a reflective and healing headspace.
“Several of the new songs were taken from various fragments I had sitting around for years. One is even a decade old but I always knew I needed to see it through.”
The upcoming music for Cujo Moon traces back to some of Willmott’s earliest songwriting influences like Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes, Glen Hansard, Alexi Murdoch, Wilco, Ray LaMontagne, M. Ward, Sigur Ros, and Radiohead. The new songs sit more comfortably in the acoustic/singer-songwriter realm than anything purely experimental or atmospheric. However, Willmott’s vision for Cujo Moon is to further the blending of these genres. From soft intimate moments to full orchestral climaxes, the debut two-part EP embodies a sense of hope through times of loss and sorrow.
“The title, Bridges, arose from the idea of a space we must journey between our own shadows and our truest expressions of self.”
The lyrics are a culmination of Willmott’s own experience with anxiety and depression and the resulting path to self healing. These introspective emotions are woven into romantic themes and the desire to “leave the darkness far behind."