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.
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.
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.”
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.
Queer duo Witch Weather discuss new album and the influence of the DMV on their sound.
Philadelphia-based queer punks Witch Weather have a message for anyone who feels hopeless and worthless: you are not alone. With an irresistible sound that draws from 80’s goth and lo-fi grunge, the indie duo wears their heart on their sleeve, giving voice to complex emotions that many would opt to suppress in the recesses of their minds.
Join Alchemical Records as they connect with Witch Weather to discuss the band’s new self-titled album, their search for a sense of belonging as members of the queer community, the important element that keeps the duo’s creative bond strong, and the influence of the DMV on their sound.
More to Watch D.C. local post-punk outlet, Outerloop, releases “huracán” on November 10th. Hurricanes are angry, defined by their high-fast winds and concerningly calm center.
Recent Articles The D.C.-Based indie punk band releases their first track, “Practice” on November 3rd. For those of us missing the distinct 90s punk rock