Judah & the Lion has been a family unto itself since forming at Nashville's Belmont University in 2011. Judah was from nearby Cookeville, an aspiring baseball player with a secret love for folk guitar. Brian, from Chicagoland, was mostly obsessed with piano. Coloradan Nate was a son of symphony players but preferred metal. Their differences were their strength as they crafted their sound over a bluegrass-heavy debut, Kids These Days, and a mold-breaking follow-up, Folk Hop n' Roll, both produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) and made in two weeks. In 2017, their triumphant "Take It All Back" topped the alternative songs chart for three weeks in a row, paving the way for a Best New Rock/Alternative Artist win at the 2018 iHeartRadio Awards. While many of Pep Talks' songs were written on the bus immediately after the band's famously high energy shows—at various festivals and on tours with Twenty One Pilots, Incubus, Jimmy Eat World, and Kaleo—the boys co-produced and recorded this LP over three inspired months with help from boundary-busting friends like Darren King, Jon Bellion, and Kacey Musgraves.