October 08, 2021

‘Life Is A Day’ album by Chris Dela Cruz

‘Life Is A Day’ by Chris Dela Cruz

About ‘Life Is A Day’ an album by Chris Dela Cruz

“I started writing my album “Life Is A Day” out of my friend’s basement starting over quarantine in March 2020. I was feeling emotionally exhausted and pondering on how my worries felt so cyclical. It was a heavy period of reflection on connections I had built with my friends, family and self. I felt like they were fading. This is the thesis of the album. It discusses the growing distance I feel from those close to me. Each moment exists here and now, and forward only as memories. The album features audio samples from my childhood. It starts and ends in the same key to represent the cyclical nature of my experiences thus far. Loss, loneliness, sex, death, love… life. I hope this album makes you feel something.”

#1 ‘Morning’ is a song that expresses a feeling of missing love and precious memories. It’s a well composed mix of instruments, and the vocals are impactful. Every single sound has a meaning behind its implementation that connects it with the emotion Chris wants us to feel. As the song progresses, the words steadily merge with the instrumental, delivering a message of reminiscing and a longing to bring back the good times with long lost friends. Many small musical and vocal variations sprinkled all over the song increases the depth of expression. ‘Morning’ is a strong medium connecting us to our feelings which is just the beginning of this amazing album.

#2 ‘Ghosts’ comes with a perfect combination of warmth and energy. Interesting rhythmic patterns nicely layered with punchy drums, melodic bass patterns, crunchy guitars and powerful vocals. The chord progressions in this perfectly align with its lyrical meaning. The psychedelic angle of the genre on which Chris Deal Cruz has written this entire album truly shines in this song. The instrumental section extending the vibe at the end is layered with many sounds that are said to be Chris’s childhood audio samples - a truly artistic and genius touch, something many listeners will newly experience. ‘Ghosts’ is a beautiful story of estranged happiness expressed by metaphorical lyrics, it is truly the art of sound.

#3 ’Shades of Death’ is very reflective. A medium that manifests important life incidents and experiences of this talented writer. The interesting thing about this song is its composition and lyrical representation of Chris’s stories. The chord progression and musical variations along with melodic vocal narration is a perfect recipe. Further beyond the vocals, we are introduced to some beautiful jazz infused sections as well as varying rhythmic elements. Showcasing various shades of death throughout multiple years of life, this song holds memories and struggles to let go as life moves on. Chris expresses how things are fading away and yet we all try to feel alive regardless. The dark yet beautiful backbone of this song is the writer’s deep philosophical musings of life.

#4 ’Song About Home’ is a beautiful example of storytelling through music. Stringed instruments strum and sustain a graceful meditative feeling which holds our hand all the way through the song as it evolves throughout the verses and chorus, becoming more expressive and bold. Every instrument sings along with the vocals, making this song one of a kind. All these elements combine to provide the perfect platform for the writer to convey a very personal message to his listeners. The consistency of ambience generated from this song can be clearly felt, yet in contrast to the previous tracks on this EP, the vocals have a deeper tone. The addition of the violin is the sweet cherry on the top of all the instrumental layers, accompanied by the softer and wider perspective of a synth, both ensuring the song’s vibrancy, maintaining its psychedelic roots.

#5 ’Theatre’ reveals a grander jazz presence to the EP, with melodic progressions and other elements scattered throughout the song. Vocals here are harmonic. There is an interesting approach towards panning instruments, balancing the overall mix, allowing for smooth transitions. This song, like others in this absorbing EP, has a slightly loose song structure, delightfully breaking methodological rules to try something new and experimental. The vocals are well performed and tell us a simple tale of visiting a theatre with friends which further serves as a metaphor for the greatest show on earth - life. Chris, like many of us, reflects on which role he could have played, showing us the simple yet exceedingly thoughtful expression behind this song. Maintaining its indie roots and injecting a jazz element makes ‘Theatre’ a truly unique experience.

#6 ‘Interlude’ begins with a soothing clean guitar tone followed up by clean, strong vocals. The composition of ‘Interlude’ revolves around the lyrics which makes a meaningful impact. There are many significant changes and variations happening throughout as the vocals reveal a more in-depth context behind this song. This track makes for a unique transition between tracks on this EP, and is the writer’s representation, or thought, of the cyclical nature of people coming and going throughout your life, and sometimes, how we eventually forget them. The chorus is strangely addictive, layered by psychedelic synths that play beautifully alongside every other element. Creative vocal harmonies, a unique bassline and multiple drum patterns deliver the vibe. Once again, this song keeps hold of the roots of its genre. Short and snappy thought it is, it’s very catchy.

#7 ‘Undercover’ raises the lyrical bar higher. We begin with a subtle guitar tune to set the atmosphere accompanied by strong vocals. With the absence of drums for most of the first half of the song, the energy powerfully builds, holding excitement till the snare hits. There are many undercover musical elements working together behind the vocals that can be heard and felt. For example, a left panned audio sample that loops infinitely gives a hint of the pace or speed of this song. Well thought out pauses and silences broken only guitars being played in between verses and chorus etc. is a well achieved masterful touch and keeps the song engaging throughout. Slowly introducing beats at the end, this song takes a turn towards the instrumental section which brings our ride to a close. ‘Undercover’ is a song that carries an expression of obsessive love and hidden feelings, a message many of us can identify with.

#8 ‘Lone Ranger’ continues the poetic and melodic journey further into Chris’s thoughts and feelings. Warm guitar patterns and a groovy rhythm, accompanied by drums and bass which press a well-defined depth carry the pace of this song. Chris’s vocals dominate once again with his lyrical magic. This song has a different structure and overall tone than previous songs in the EP. It is straightforward but hits harder. Jazz elements, violins and synths are layered quietly throughout the song. As the song draws closer to the end, a punchy, highly-energetic instrumental section reveals the true power of each instrument as well as strengthening the meaning of the song. Chris poetically and metaphorically writes about an individual referred to as ‘Lone Ranger’, telling us the story of how this caring yet solitary character could have experienced love and care, too, if only they had shared something of the feelings they were holding inside.

#9 ’11pm for 24 Minutes’ is calm and warm. Until now we have understood the artistic and poetic form of all previous songs on this EP and this song continues to fascinate us. It is abstract and ambient with layered acoustic instruments. Reverb and delays are creatively implemented along with vocal harmonies. Holding a loose grip on rhythm but staying true to its genre, this song expresses a tale of love and missing using various musical elements, and vocal and poetic devices. In this song, we are introduced to a deeper, warmer vibe. Vocals have become softer and higher pitched, unlocking a realm of melodies expanded further by instrumentals. It gives a feeling of ease and a simultaneous struggle to find peace. Sustained notes are shared by the instruments and vocals, creating an engaging sound specific to this song. Feelings and expressions are not just plainly delivered but are a stylized representation of an artist’s true emotions and experiences.

#10 ‘Last Dance’ expresses the sentiment of not knowing how much time we have left with anyone, and holding on to the good times, knowing they don’t last. Energetic, powerful, bassy and truly indie, this song is fast-paced, lending to its lyrical meaning. Those glittery, crispy electric guitars shine to their full glory, strumming wide! Perfectly compressed and balanced distortion, heavy drums chasing the next beat, speedy synths, and vocals pouring beautiful words by the bucketful carry the composition to the next level. Delightful with a hint of grunge, this song is a new ride. We are gifted with a guitar solo connecting two sections. In some parts the synth dominates, switching up the vibe. It has become somewhat of a signature to end every song on the EP with an artistic musical passage, and this song doesn’t disappoint. We end with an experimental rhythmic jazz wind-down. Such a drastic switch is hard to achieve but is masterfully and cleverly performed. A sheer treat to listeners.

#11 ‘Night’ is the final song of this album. A metaphorical, poetic trip into the comforting cover of night and the contrasting reality of the day. The vibe is similar to some previous songs in every positive way but uniquely composed. Variable ups and downs in the form of melodies and harmonies will make us feel like this song is extremely well improvised. The structure of traditional music is well challenged again and again throughout this album as experienced in this song, too. Mellow guitars besides Chris’s sweet vocals are the definition of beauty in simplicity in music. Later on in the track, the guitars are used to break silences, transitioning to a fuller section of the song where the music almost speaks to you itself. Complex musical compositions for each instrument dissolving in each other leads this song and the EP to a graceful and hopeful conclusion, leaving us with a feeling of wanting more.

About Chris Dela Cruz
“My name is Chris Dela Cruz, an independent singer-songwriter from the Poconos, Pennsylvania, USA. I write lyric centric psych-indie rock songs with jazz elements. I have heard my sound compared to Bright Eyes, The Cure, and Arctic Monkeys. I am releasing two singles on September 10th and 24th while my debut full-length album “Life Is A Day” is set to release October 8th.”

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