The beautiful landscapes, both real and painted, in the video for ‘Wait No More’ match the lovely harmonies and gentle folk-melody in this new song from TEOA. Formerly known as The End of America, the band took their name from Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’: travelling, “…across the groaning continent,” in search of inspiration and reaching “…the end of America, no more land, and now there was nowhere to go but back.” That focus on travel and open spaces has always been part of TEOA’s identity. The trio, Trevor Leonard, James Downes and Brendon Thomas, love being out on the road but used the lockdown to search for their next musical inspiration.
The band explain how the new song came about: “We’ve always shared a love for travel. We’re road dogs. It has always been a theme and focus for our band – traveling in search of inspiration to create art in a unique place. ‘Wait No More’ might be the most overt representation of that sentiment that we’ve made to date. We even sum up the meaning behind our band name with, “It was drier than sand, so we drove to the end of America, where sea swallows land.” It’s a song about being called to get up, get inspired, move and seek out adventure.
The song may never have been created if not for quarantine. Since we all live hundreds of miles away from each other, we started writing together over zoom video calls. It started with a jangly 12-string acoustic progression. We began working out chord changes and free styling some melodies over the progressions. From there we dove into lyrics, knowing we wanted to encapsulate the urgency of going after what you want without hesitation. The chorus melody and lines, “Starry skies and open doors call me,” came along first. The theme of traveling and movement started to form. The verses played off those ideas, that we need to be active with creativity and in our search for inspiration.
We’re all pretty good at finding our harmonies over each others’ parts, so we built the track around our melodies, adding in ambience, banjo, percussion and orchestration. We reached out to our talented friend, Katie Weissman, to lay down the cello parts. Her strings push the emotional elements of the song even further to the forefront.
The road has always called out to us. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. We all met on the road, touring with our bands over a decade ago. We’re missing it more than ever in these quarantined times. But the urgency to stay creative and keep moving forward hasn’t gone away. ‘Wait No More’ captures that urgency and reaffirms our personal calls to action. “I gotta move. I gotta drive. Come with me, the night is alive.”
A lovely song for looking forward to the end of lockdown.