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Elijah Cruise Holds Nothing Back with Impressive Debut EP, ‘Sufføcating/The Eulogy’

By Cynthia Gross

On May 6, Knoxville, Tennessee-based alternative pop artist Elijah Cruise released his debut EP, Sufføcating/The Eulogy. The stunning, introspective collection contains all of the workings needed to make it a breakthrough release. Drawing from what feels like pages of his journal, Cruise explores death, life, and what it means to exist as an outsider in an indifferent society.

From the very first line of “Sufføcating,” Cruise makes it clear that the song is not for everyone. “This is a place for the misunderstood,” he states backed solely by emotive electric guitar and ambient sound. “I wanted to create an ‘invitation,’ if you will, to anyone who’s ever felt similar to myself: an outcast, loner, ‘weirdo,’ or any sort of reject to the norms of our society,” Cruise explained. He describes the song as an “anthem” that serves as “a beacon to anyone on the outside looking in.”

In the moody, cinematic chorus of “Sufføcating,” Cruise sings “I’m just a weirdo / Dressed in my brother’s hand-me-downs / All my friends are outcasts,” as candidly as if he were declaring an objective truth like the fact that he is a musician. The declarative nature of Cruise’s confessional songwriting creates an intriguing tension. By bringing his scars to light rather than attempting to hide them, Cruise normalizes the misfit identity in a compelling way.

In contrast to the driving energy of “Sufføcating,” “The Eulogy,” which is also tracked in the key of A minor, is a heart-wrenching, slow-burning tune that provides a sacred space for Cruise to process a tragic loss. “First thing / Why didn’t you call me / And tell me that you needed a friend?” Cruise asks. Such stirring, passionate songwriting could only come from deep within, and Cruise empowers audiences to express their own emotions through his example.

“I lost a dear friend to suicide back in 2019,” Cruise shared. “I remember writing so effortlessly the days following his funeral. I think it truly felt like a eulogy to me, like all the things I wish I could’ve said to him. My hope for the song is that we talk about the hard things in life like depression, anxiety, loss, and create hope for anyone who feels like their life doesn’t have meaning.”

In addition to his solo career, Elijah Cruise is a rising star in the production scene. In 2021, he produced “friends like these” by Northern Virginia-based artist BRASSIE, which has been streamed over 100,000 times on Spotify. Last month, he collaborated with Canadian electronic duo WE ARE FURY on the gripping track “Poem of a Killer.” Cruise’s influences include Coldplay, 21 Pilots, Mutemath, The Weeknd, and his wife, Olivia Perdomo.

“I’ve always struggled with pretending to be something I’m not, in order to fit in,” Cruise reflected. “Through the years, I’ve felt the mask grow heavier and more of a desire to be unapologetically myself- even if that doesn’t fit society’s mold.” Cruise notes that his songs appeal to “anyone who feels the same, and is tired of trying to be something they’re not.”

Fitting in may be in vogue, but it’s overrated. With his debut EP, Elijah Cruise shows up authentically, and the results speak for themselves. Despite the dark themes featured on Sufføcating/The Eulogy, there is a distinct glimmer of light at the core of the project that leaves audiences inspired, a testament to Cruise’s willingness to tap into the healing power of music.

Stay tuned for upcoming releases from this impressive talent, which are not to be missed. Watch the music video for “Sufføcating” below and find more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify and YouTube.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. For additional resources, visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

Cynthia Gross

Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.

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