Cruz Contreras’s Solo Debut ‘Cosmico’

Cruz Contreras New Album

Cruz Contreras – Photo: LTTL

Cruz Contreras

Founder and Frontman of The Black Lillies

Solo Debut ‘Cosmico’ Out Now

With the release of his debut album Cosmico, Cruz Contreras, known as the founder and frontman of The Black Lillies and founder of the CCStringband is born again, able to express himself as only he knows best, with no compromises.

Following a too-long period of self-doubt, both personally and in his songwriting, he opens the door for fresh chapter:

“It was so confusing because it seems to be what I’ve always been best at and has brought me so much joy. These songs are fresh, timely, and especially relatable during these strange times. I made Cosmico because the world needs music that brings people together, from all walks of life, more than ever.”

Cruz Contreras

The resulting album is reportedly a cosmic amalgamation of influences and personal styles from Contreras’s entire career. But add a psychedelic edge.

In the summer of 2019, Cruz sought a new avenue for introspective artistic expansion, using the brief moments his band wasn’t performing to write and record his debut solo album. Cosmico is a marked departure from his work as The Black Lillies. Contreras found the COVID lockdown period to be fertile ground for his creativity. He slowed down and took time mixing and planning the release of his debut LP. Recorded atop Cider Mountain in bucolic northern Idaho, Cruz partnered with producers Ethan Ballinger and Megan McCormick. Engineered by Craig AlvinCosmico is a sonic journey that features Contreras on keyboards in his most intimate vocal and lyrical setting while taking his traditional musical stylings to undiscovered territory. 

Cosmico Tracklist:

Flashing Light

Doin’ Time

Stop Giving Your Heart Away

Call Me Crazy

Separate Minds

Let Somebody Love You

Time Stand Still

Breaking A Habit

Road That Has No End 

More About Cruz Contreras: Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, and producer

While in college, Contreras co-founded Robinella and the CCstringband, lending his initials to the stringband which featured vocalist and guitarist Robinella, Billy Contreras on fiddle, Taylor Coker on upright bass, Steve Kovalcheck on electric guitar, and Contreras as bandleader on mandolin. The critically acclaimed record led to national television performances, including Late Night with Conan O’Brien, a CMT-charting video for the single, “Man Over,” and his first performance on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry. To date, he’s appeared on “the Opry” 40 times.

A split from his work and life with Robinella in 2007 led to new beginnings for Contreras, who founded The Black Lillies in 2009. That band cemented his reputation as an insightful songwriter and a powerhouse vocalist. Their second album, the stunning 100 Miles of Wreckage, spent more than five months on the Americana radio Top 40 charts–four of them in the Top 20 and ended up on the AMA Top 100 of 2011.

Cruz Contreras – Photo: LTTL

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Author: Rob Dickens

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