Brother Cephus
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Brother Cephus

Tampa, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie




"Tampa indie-rock band Brother Cephus releases heartbreaking new song, “One Cold Hospital Room”"

Brother Cephus’ 2017 album, Not That Important, was one the year’s best Bay area releases. In just six tracks, principal songwriters Seth and Gabe Davis patched together a modern snapshot of being young, confused and American.

In months after the album’s release, the band watched the Davis’ father, Kent, succumb to cancer. December 8 marked the one-year anniversary of Kent Davis’ death, and to mark the occasion, Brother Cephus released a new, meditative song, “One Cold Hospital Room,” which is painfully awash in the confusion that often accompanies the doldrums of life in world without your best friend.

“To a couple members of this band he was a father and to most he was some sort of friend,” the band wrote online. Proceeds from Bandcamp sales of the song will be donated to cancer research in honor of Kent, and the band has expressed gratitude to those who’ve already spent money to own a copy of the track.

“It really means a lot to us as we continue to process the loss of our father and friend,” they wrote. “Thank y'all for your time now go love on someone close.”

See lyrics and listen to the track below. Buy it on Bandcamp.

Can't believe it's been a year I know it sounds cliche.
Life it comes and goes in an instance.
Circumstance you'll never choose.

Can't believe you brought me in this world.
Can't believe I saw you out.

Me, my mom, brothers and sister in one cold hospital room,
one cold hospital room - Creative Loafing

"Sibling songs: Tampa’s Brother Cephus has a unique and ever-evolving creative process"

If there’s a band in Tampa Bay that knows a lot about doing more with less, then it’s Brother Cephus.

In January of 2015, CL wrote about the quartet — which is actually built around two brothers, Gabe and Seth Davis — re-releasing its Wounded Hearts EPs via a small run of cassettes on Flesh & Bone Records. At the time, Gabe said that the band was foregoing more traditional CD and LP release cycles while seeking a more long-term creative arc.

“We don’t leave room for our music to grow stagnant,” Gabe, 25, explained in an interview five months later.

Back then, Brother Cephus hoped to have a small batch of songs to share every three to five months. A year later they gave friends and fans Noise, five tracks that found the Tampa lifers going to new places thematically and on tape, too. Noise highlight “New York” addressed some of the loneliness on Hearts, but gave it intention and an even more realized, expansive sound.

“I sold my soul just to be here with you again, and New York, New York, I don’t want anything else but my selfish dreams to come true with you now,” Seth, 24, sings on the tune before asking, “Where do we break? Where do we fold again?”

It was a warmer, more grown-up sentiment on a record that found Brother Cephus beginning to tackle even bigger topics like cop killings, arguments, war, the industrialization of love, and the gap between life’s potentials and its tangible everyday realities. Now the band — fresh off an East Coast tour — has another short yet fully evolved collection of songs to share while it prepares to play a November 19 Straz Center set before a live taping of a podcast by Josh Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, aka The Minimalists.

Not That Important — recorded in the dead of Nashville winter this January before being released independently in July — clocks in at just 22 minutes. Its six songs were cut to opaque violet and white vinyl in Jacksonville and housed in a package designed by Justin Nelson, who did the simple, two-color front artwork. Tampa designer Justin Myers, who composes miniature blasts of ambient electro as Justin Depth, illustrated the vinyl’s actual label. Songs like “What Is This? America.” feature inevitable commentary via soundbites from our 24-hour news cycle, but what stands out on the effort is the unabashedly moody yet oddly serene and earnest nature with which the Davis brothers live their lives.

“Donald Trump, politics, terror attacks, hate crimes, violence, climate change, greed. All you hear about is the negative stuff, and all of that seems like the norm, which makes for a very abnormal social climate,” Gabe told CL before explaining that this community’s embrace of the arts makes it nearly impossible for all the bullshit outweigh the good shit. It doesn’t matter what form the expression takes, according to Gabe, who is impulsive about checking out unknown bands, new restaurants and art galleries.

“When you’re in a community like we all are, and you receive so much support from the people around you, you just want to reciprocate,” he said. “We’re just hungry to see truly inspired people do what is unique to them. And that feeds our own passion.”

Brother Cephus’s impetuous impulses have fed others, too. Just watch an ambitious, perfectly executed video that BOTB-winning filmmaker Javi Flick shot for Not That Important track “Toxic Slip,” or follow the narrative on EP highlight “Can We Then?” in which Seth twists his words and melodies around to spin a hilarious, all-too-real, tongue-in-cheek assessment of what it’s like to go out to bars seemingly overrun by cool kids wearing catalog-ready shirts and eyewear. The cut’s riffs and basic feel were cemented in a demo, but extra work during pre-production with engineer Josh Lovell unearthed new melodic and lyrical possibilities that could not be ignored. So Seth hopped in the vocal booth and basically freestyled his way through the song over and over again while his brother and Lovell jotted down their favorite lines.

“We gotta do something, right? We gotta go somewhere playing cool tunes,” Seth sings while a far-off voice harmonizes on a fat, half-time groove propelled by bassist JJ Revell and Logan Coats on drums. “And I’ll hit the oldies station, sing like old fools. Hand me a smoke and stiff drink — I’m playing it cool, I’m seeing V-necks and Ray-Bans, how can I change my mood?”

How? Apparently you’ve just got to trust your intuition, find a little trail of breadcrumbs, try not to do too much with ’em and eventually find what you didn’t know you were looking for in the first place. It seems to work for the Davis brothers, who apparently still write up to three songs a week.

“Some seem to stick with you and some you just forget. It’s hard to keep up,” Gabe said when asked about being able to corral the material. “I think we’re lucky.”

And those little, tiny, simple bits of luck have gone a long way. - Creative Loafing

"The Brother Cephus Slow Burn, an interview on Music as Therapy and a Normal Life"

Brother Cephus record has a slow burn to it. Noise (2016), their latest EP, opens with a title track that manages to somehow both slam itself into your face and remain subdued and nuanced. The first track—title track, “Noise”—perfectly encapsulates this feeling when, from behind punctuated guitars and drums, singer Seth Davis shouts his polite request, “Please stop all that noise / What’s all this in my head / Stop all that damn noise.”
When Brother Cephus came into Jacksonville this winter, we had a chance to sit down with them in a scuzzy bar on Edgewood Avenue. I don’t even know if it had a name. It certainly felt nameless. Radio rock crackled through the speakers, and I asked them how they got started as a band.

Seth Davis: We really just wanted to write songs together. In the last year or so, it started to shift from “Oh, we want to get drunk and play home shows,” to gaining a little momentum and deciding maybe we don’t want to work in coffee shops, you know, forever. Normal life is good, but we were stoked to get these songs we have out there.

Perversion Magazine: Was it when you were writing for your most recent EP, Noise, that you realized there was something here?

SD: I think it was after Noise. That was our third collection, and we were gaining momentum. We really wanted to focus on releasing as many songs as possible over a year, without necessarily releasing a full-length record. That was the idea with the collections.

Gabe Davis: I think Noise was probably the first collection that we worked through back catalogs of stuff we had written over the years. Noise was the first time that I thought that maybe Brother Cephus is forming an identity, as opposed to just having songs.

PM: How would you describe that identity?

SD: Coming from where we started, it was just about daily life. When I try to look at it lyrically, or what we try to represent through our music, it’s more of a raw, daily life thing. We’re not a band that feels like we write pretty music or poppy music. If there was a goal, it’s just being a couple normal dudes. Most of our songs are about—and especially with the new stuff we’re writing—what it’s like to be mid-20s, paying taxes, figuring out how to pay your rent, and not trying to get drunk every night. You know what I mean? I think there’s not a lot that we can write other than our normal lives.

PM: You write what you know.

GD: I think part of it, too, is that we’re very concerned and active about what we believe in, but to us, [music] is sort of an escape, so we do speak towards daily life and how the societal temperature at any time affects us.

SD: I think that’s why the word “Noise” fit the collection so well. When we think of noise, it’s like all the shit that’s going around.

PM: Do you still work while you’re in the band?

SD: Yeah, we all have day jobs. We’d like to actually keep it that way. I think that’s one thing that we were sick of. When you’re touring and you don’t have a normal job, there’s no normal life. Your home isn’t home. And traveling’s sick and stuff, but I think for us, a normal job to keep in a routine, forever, would be sick in some form also.

PM: There’s something to this idea of people in their mid-20s wanting to be creative and put something out there, but also still sticking to this sense of normalcy—having a job and living a “life”—and then in their free time, trying to make the creative thing. Rather than trying to make the creative thing the normal life.

SD: Yeah, because the creative thing just turns into a job. I was listening to a podcast yesterday where Reggie Watts was saying that when he was playing music through college, all his friends would be like, “Man, you get to relieve stress by playing music.” But the practice can become stressful when it’s the job. I don’t want to go out to the mountains in Denver and write a record, because that’s not life.

PM: So if that isn’t the goal then, to make the band highly successful—though, certainly you would be okay with that—

SD: Of course.

PM: But if that isn’t the goal, what is? A form of stress relief? Because it’s fun?

SD: I think it’s a mix of that. The talks of it was wanting to play music together with my brother. It sounds cheesy, but making good art and saying what you want to say.

GD: That’s been the goal from the beginning. Making and releasing as many things as possible. That’s been a trap we’d seen in previous bands where you do the traditional cycle of doing a full-length every year, then you tour the shit out of it and then you’re sick of the songs. We’re all sick of our songs by the time we release them almost, so for us, a big key is figuring out the ability to continually be creative. We haven’t put something out in months, but of the nine songs we’re playing tonight, only three of them are already released.

GD: I feel like every day, I’m trying to find the positivity in it, but it’s not always about being a positive band or hopeful. Trying to find the silver lining and yearning, that earnestness.

PM: It feels like a form of therapy almost?

GD: Oh, Absolutely.

SD: It goes back to what we were saying because it’s not a job. This is a comfortable place. We practice and fuck around with writing for a bit. It’s like a meaningful video game. What you’re putting out is something you need and want to do, but you can kind of zone out for a couple hours for it.

PM: What does the band name mean?

SD: We take ourselves seriously and try to be careful, but we also like to bullshit and hangout. “Brother Cephus” was initially some funny character I did when we were drinking and stuck in vans for hours just to lighten the mood. Then we booked our first show and didn’t have a name, so our friends just named us that after the character. And it stuck.

PM: It sounds almost religious.

SD: Some people have asked that, and some people have thought it was a deliberate play on the fact that we’re brothers, but we’re not smart enough for that.

GD: We’ll take the credit, though. - Perversion Magazine

"Brother Cephus Talks About their Indie Music Career"

Tell us where you’re from and where the name, Brother Cephus, came from?
Gabe: We are from Tampa, FL… Born and raised. Funny enough Brother Cephus is actually a character I came
up with a few years back. It developed over time into this weird, anecdotal comedy routine I would use hanging
out with friends or while we were on tour in previous bands (band van humor can get really dry and filled with
inside jokes). After Seth and I had decided to start this band together, and had been working on music, we
booked our first show in town without a name. The promoter was a friend of ours, and after some time of him
unsuccessfully pressuring us to come up with a name he jokingly put us on the bill as Brother Cephus. We
ended up really liking the sound of that, and now when people ask us what our name means it gives us the
opportunity to show a bit more of our lighthearted nature. We’re very serious about our art and the type of music
we create, but at the same time we want to remove as much of the pretentiousness as possible. “Brother
Cephus” helps us do that.

Let’s talk about your music. Why did you decide to split your album into two separate EP releases?
Gabe: You know, we always felt constricted by the traditional format of full-length records. With past bands we
would work hard on 10-12 songs, release them, tour the hell out of them and if we’re lucky not have to wait
another 2 years to record again. For Brother Cephus, that just wouldn’t work. The model we’ve decided to
explore is releasing smaller collections (2-6 songs) on a more frequent basis (every 3-5 months). We feel like
this provides us the freedom to be more creative and also has the added benefit of keeping new content flowing
to the people who like what we are doing. It is more freeing to us as artists and our hope is that it is refreshing to
the people who are following Brother Cephus... I mean, who doesn’t like new stuff?

We reviewed both albums (I will publish a link to them both). The music is very laid-back, but really
nicely done. Why did you choose to go the non-commercial dance music route that many are doing today?
Gabe: Honestly, the style of music we’ve been writing in Brother Cephus is a natural product of who we are and
how we think. Sometimes it feels like music is the only way we can communicate effectively… not even just lyrics,
but the music itself. I wouldn’t say that we specifically chose to not go with a certain sound, the fact is that if we
were to have chosen to go with a more commercial sound it would be contradictory to who we are as individuals
and artists. Naturally, our hopes are to progress as artists and we’re constantly seeking better ways to express
ourselves. The styles and ways we communicate are liable to change, but it will always be true to who we are as

In what ways has the Internet helped you guys increase your opportunities for success in music?
Gabe: Example #1 is displayed in this conversation we’re having right now haha. The Internet has played a huge
role in our success to date. Everybody has an Internet presence these days. Whether you are a band, a
manager, label, etc., your image will be defined to most people now based off of your website or instagram or
Facebook, like it or not. For us, it is liberating in the sense of promotion and getting the word out there, but
presents some issues in the arena of personal touch. Music is a very personal thing to us, and a large amount of
people in this world. Figuring out how to communicate with your fan base in a personal and genuine manner
takes some time, but is so rewarding in the end. As we have been able to sharpen up our Internet and social
networking skills we have found that more people are willing to listen and after that point the music speaks for
itself. As with any means of opportunity in any facet of life, there is NO substitute for hard work, and the Internet
is no exception. We have found the hard work is worth it.

Where can people connect with you online?
We try our best to stay up to date with our online presence so it really depends on the preferred avenue of
social media that people are interested in.
We do have a website,, of which I would recommend because our music can be
streamed free there (as well as spotify/or available through purchase on itunes).
For the ease of use and connectivity, our twitter and instagram handles are @BrotherCephus, and our
Facebook is Find us on any of the above and give us a shout! - I Am Entertainment Magazine

"Wounded Hearts: Collection 2 - REVIEW"

Brother Cephus is an amazing duo out of Tampa whose latest release is the second
installment of a two-part release titled, WOUNDED HEARTS: COLLECTION 2. The sound
that exudes from Brother Cephus is truly that of an indie rock band that relishes its
freedom of creative expression through song. Unafraid and unabashed, Brother Cephus
proudly takes the road less traveled in today's music, bending each string of their guitars
in a way that defines the duo's unique sound and captures the essence of what it means
to be indie.

COLLECTION 2 offers three tracks of down-tempo indie rock music that blows like a cool
breeze through your ears. The gaping whole notes that swell on each song make for an
emotional and thought provoking ride. The melodies are catchy and the build ups are
epic, leaving no room for doubt about whether these guys can hold your ears throughout
the EP. While Brother Cephus has landed a new fan in me, after taking a listen to
Collection 1 of the Wounded Hearts series I discovered that there really is no difference
in the sound or pace of these projects as their Soundcloud page might suggest. I'd love
to hear Brother Cephus make some uptempos because, I really like the collective vocal
and musical talents of this duo and believe they could have staying power by mixing up
the tempos a bit more.

Overall, Brother Cephus is a very cool band, and their release - WOUNDED HEARTS:
COLLECTION 2 - is a powerful EP. If you like laid back indie rock tracks that are both
catchy and bold, then be sure to check this duo out. This band is a good fit for fans of
Bon Iver, and I think it would be well worth the time and money spent purchasing and
listening to Brother Cephus' music. You can check them out at the website link above. - I Am Entertainment Magazine

"Scene and Heard: Brother Cephus"

Tampa’s rich music scene has talent from all types of genres. So many dope, up and coming artists who all deserve some shine.

So turn off the top-40 garbage and check out Scene and Heard, our new local music series.

This week’s gem is Brother Cephus, a local guitar-driven band with an indie rock, folky, americana feel. Brother Cephus consists of two brothers, Gabe and Seth Davis, who aim to put out heartfelt, evocative music.

Last week Gabe and I were able to meet up and talk about what Brother Cephus was all about.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about being an artist in Tampa?

There’s not much focus on artists in Tampa. It’s kind of a double-sided coin, because our experiences in Tampa are awesome. It has all the resources to do something cool, but sometimes you just get the feeling like there’s not that much to offer in reference to the arts community. I’ve lived Nashville and California for a little bit and both are pretty heavy in the arts/cultures. Everyone’s doing it, which can actually be a negative thing too.

Our goals are to be one of those people who help Tampa get its recognition. Every day it’s getting cooler and cooler. So much stuff popping up. Everyone seems to be getting the notion of rather leaving to go chase something in another city, stay here and invest.
Who is your favorite artist? Who inspires you? Favorite local artist?

Yeah, I think that’s always a hard question. One of my all-time favorites is the band Wilco. I’m a sucker for like Americana, gritty folk music and killer guitar players. I love the Smiths, totally different style, but legendary.

I’ve been listening a lot to these guys from St. Pete, Polyenso. They’re doing a really cool job, I’d compare them to like Radiohead. They are a bit indie/rockish, with some interesting rhythms. I have some friends in a band called Oxford Noland, they’re pretty good.

Just played a show with a band called Mrenc, they’re based in Lakeland, I think. The dude, he’s been playing bands around the area for the longest. I remember watching him play when I was like 14 (Gabe is now 22) There’s another band based out of Carrolwood called Carrolhood, those are a couple guys that were in Anberlin and Underoath.
Favorite venue in Tampa that you’ve rocked at?

Man I gotta say New World on Eight Ave. I just go to that place to hangout. If you go to New World a couple nights in the week you’re probally going to see me there. I love the people, the atmosphere, it’s been there for so long. We’ve prolly played 90 percent of our shows there, simply because we just love it there.
Best concert in Tampa that you’ve attended as a fan?

I would say… Oh man, I have to choose two. I got to see Wilco at Straz, that was awesome. It was actually on the day of my 20th birthday. It was perfect. The second would probably be… Aw man, now that I’m thinking about the second, I want a third and fourth. I got to see a band called Torch at Crowbar, Torch is awesome, a totally different style. Also got to see David Brazan of Pedro the Lion in his living room show, so that was killer too.
Any upcoming shows? New Projects?

So we released “Wounded Hearts” recently. Go check that out. We have three songs that we haven’t set an exact date, but probably the end of July we’ll release them and probably do a show at New World. It’s unnamed. - Tampa Bay Scene

"Brother Cephus CD Release Show"

Amid the roots acts that froth up so frequently from the Tampa Bay talent pool, Brother Cephus — the project of Tampa-based bros Seth and Gabriel Davis — stands out with strong songwriting and a firm grasp of yearning and melody, from the soothing dusty-folk ramblings of “Waiting” with its delicate passages of layered guitar prettiness and raw vocal quality to the more urgent roots-noise of “Crossroads” that builds to dark and heavy Southern-soaked territories with pounding and screaming washes of bass and guitar. This show marks the release of Wounded Hearts: Collection 2, a follow-up to the debut they issued just this past May. Digital download codes are offered with limited (50 total) custom-made art prints designed by Amy Kathryn Anderson and Joel Davis, the latter behind warm-up solo act Fistful. South Florida indie rockers Civilian will also perform at this New Granada-hosted release party. 7 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $8.

Check out both "Waiting" and "Crossroads" off the Wounded Hearts EP after the jump.... - Creative Loafing


Brother Cephus was up next, but they are not newbies when it comes to playing with Tampa Bay royalty so to speak. About 3 weeks ago, they opened up for brotherCarrollhood, a local band Underoath’s guitarist Tim McTague founded, (see the photos here) so they definitely came to represent for the sold out family and friends tour opener. Their sound really gets me thinking about the transition out of 80’s new wave as it moved toward 90’s grunge. Intricate guitar work, coupled with melody lines that sit perfectly in a tight tempo pushing from the rhythm section of the band. - Suburban Apologist


Not That Important - July 21st, 2017

NOISE - November 23rd, 2015

Wounded Hearts: Collection 2 - August 28th, 2014

Wounded Hearts: Collection 1 - April 24th, 2014



For the past seven years, Seth and Gabe Davis -- alongside a revolving door of personnel -- have been cultivating a uniquely southern take on Americana rock: Brother Cephus.  The band has been a staple in the Tampa music scene. Throughout their previous four collections, Brother Cephus wove together elements of folk, surf, punk, and rock beneath honest lyrics about dudes living life.

The years following Not That Important's 2017 release were difficult. Seth and Gabe lost their father to cancer that December -- grieving and writing went hand-in-hand. Muggy summer nights were spent transmuting that sorrow into sound. Brother Cephus' upcoming fifth collection, Only Natural, is the culmination of that process.

Only Natural was recorded at Sponge Studios in Seminole Heights.

Band Members