Play (Lists)

Elijah Cruise Embraces His Shadow Self with ‘Vampire U’

On Oct. 27, Nashville-based alternative pop artist Elijah Cruise, a favorite at Alchemical Records, released his latest single, “Vampire U,” just in time for Halloween.

Alternative pop artist Elijah Cruise poses dramatically in promo photo for new single, Vampire U
Elijah Cruise - Photo Courtesy of Olivia Perdomo (@ifitisnt.olivia).

In contrast with a society that pressures individuals to distance themselves from their shadow self, Cruise’s moody, seductive track explores the interconnectedness of light and darkness, leaning confidently into the latter.

“Put your hands around my neck / Suck me drain me / I’m obsessed / Empty my veins and drink it all up / All that I’m asking is let me be your drug,” Cruise sings passionately in the pre-chorus.

“I firmly believe that we cannot truly experience light without darkness, and vice versa,” said Cruise. “To fully embrace life, one must be willing to acknowledge and feel both joy and sorrow. I embrace these contrasting emotions because they represent the full spectrum of life, including its darker aspects.”

“I don’t want to run from it; I want to understand it and ultimately be free,” he added. “True personal freedom comes from the acceptance of our whole selves, including the parts that we often hide from the world.”

Cruise’s thoughtful lyrics include clever turns on intentionally placed quoted segments such as the popular children’s bedtime prayer, which appears in the haunting bridge of the song.

Alternative pop artist Elijah Cruise performs live with band.
Elijah Cruise Performs Live with Band - Photo Courtesy of Taylor (@taymszu).

The production of “Vampire U” is nothing short of remarkable. The pulsating foundation of the track is enveloping, and yet, not once does the sound get muddy. Intricate elements – including electronics, organ, piano, and even rimshots – are able to shine within the grand composition to a powerful effect.

Perhaps most importantly, “Vampire U” reminds listeners that there is a vampire inside all of us – “always hungry” and “venomous, too.” Not to be shunned, the presence of darkness is rather an essential part of being human. Cruise’s ability to speak authentically to the human experience has become signature of his music, lending an empowering lens to his writing.

Elijah Cruise is a rising force in the indie music scene, and his strengths as a songwriter and producer are exemplary, as evidenced by each release in his impressive growing body of work. “Poem of a Killer,” Cruise’s 2022 single, a collaboration with WE ARE FURY, has amassed more than 1 million streams on Spotify, and his debut EP received an overwhelming warm reception.

In the coming months, Cruise says that he has “extensive plans for touring and releasing many new songs,” adding that his favorite part of being an artist is performing shows.

“Vampire U” will be something to behold live. Its raw energy and cinematic rhythm-driven sound position the song to be experienced in all of its glory in the company of new and existing fans alike.

“I hope that listeners find solace in ‘Vampire U,’” said Cruise. “I want to convey that it’s okay to accept and explore your inner darkness, and that they’re not alone in feeling this way. My intent is for my music to provide a safe space for them to freely explore their emotions.”

“Vampire U” is now available on major streaming platforms, including Spotify and YouTube.

Cynthia Gross

Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.

Subscribe to Alchemical Records today to support our efforts online and in print. 

Join the Alchemical Records Street Team to promote these and other artists, live music, and music community organizations & events while receiving cool perks from artists throughout the region.

More to explore