Matt Maeson took to music early, learning drums and guitar at a young age and eventually touring as part of his father's prison ministry. Already a budding songwriter struggling through a rebellious period in his late teens, the experience of performing at high security prisons and various other dark corners of society made a lasting impression on Maeson and helped realign his focus on his career as a singer/songwriter. Melding bluesy indie folk and modern production, he began posting tracks on SoundCloud and eventually caught the ear of Atlantic affiliate Neon Gold Records, which signed him in 2016. Maeson embarked on his first headlining tour that summer, which was presented by Communion, the music organization founded by Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett. Led by the singles "Cringe" and "Grave Digger," his debut EP, Who Killed Matt Maeson?, was released in conjunction with Atlantic and Neon Gold in March 2017. A year later, Maeson released a six-song EP, The Hearse, followed in December 2018 by a two-song single: "The Mask" and "Cringe."