The hazy charm of Cheerleader first shimmered into existence at a Hartford, Connecticut middle school. Here, Joe Haller and Chris Duran cut their musical teeth in Duran’s parents’ basement, and their friendship and musical chemistry sparked a connection that survived the 2000s and colleges in separate states. Reconnecting in their hometown in 2012, Haller and Duran decided it was time to devote themselves to their music. “We sort of realized that, crazy pipedream or not, we owed it to ourselves to give it a shot,” Duran says. On a whim, the duo moved to Philadelphia to start compiling new material.