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Brandon De La Cruz Melts Your Worries Away On His Gentle Single, “I Love You Babe”

The Portland-based musician follows his impressive debut with this charming new release.

Having burst on the scene with an artistic poise and polish normally only seen in veteran performers, Portland-based indie folk singer-songwriter Brandon De La Cruz is a rare musical talent that has instantly made waves in the scene.

Having immediately captured the attention and imagination of listeners on his highly acclaimed debut "Disguise," De La Cruz has triumphantly returned to release "I Love You Babe," the highly anticipated follow-up to "Disguise."

With his ability to channel mellow, relaxing vocals that don't immediately reveal the vast depth behind them, Brandon De La Cruz continues to enchant listeners everywhere he goes.

Funnily enough, "I Love You Babe" has an exciting and touching backstory. "I Love You Babe" is a heartfelt cover of a hidden gem by renowned cult-favorite folk songwriter Michael Hurley. After hearing and instantly falling in love with the song, De La Cruz received blessings from Hurley himself directly to release it, and Hurley says, "I couldn't see how anybody could like [the original song], but Brandon De La Cruz brings it into a new day, don't he? It sounds like new music to me."

De La Cruz's "I Love You Babe" is a mellow, elegant, resonant track. De La Cruz approached this project with near reverence, and every second of the song feels perfectly thought out. Over soft, relaxing guitar instrumentals that make you feel like your worries melt away,

De La Cruz's honey-steeped vocals gracefully and gently wash over you, enveloping you in a soft, warm soundscape. Lines like "I love you baby, and I don't know why / And when I see you, I will be so happy I'd cry" are delivered with such sincerity that it almost feels like De La Cruz is talking to you, and every line feels like it's filled with gratitude.

Brandon De La Cruz's "I Love You Babe" is a tender love offering sure to tug at your heartstrings. When you're ready, tap in and stream "I Love You Babe" on July 14th. Watch for his upcoming album, "Two Kilos of Blue," available soon.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Brandon De La Cruz! We loved “I Love You, Babe,” what a tender and enchanting release! We had to ask, what was the inspiration behind this piece? Were you drawing from personal experience?

I’m very happy to be featured; thanks for the love! This song, in particular, is a Michael Hurley song. I first heard it in Portland, probably 7-8 years ago. It’s a song recorded around the time of Hurley’s first record in the 60s that came out on Folkways. Mississippi Records dug it out of the archives and released it. I worked in a cafe next to Mississippi, where Hurley was a regular.

I got to know him a bit over the years, saw him play many times, and fell in love with his music. I feel he is in the upper echelon of American songwriters. His style is understated and simple, with much soul and craft behind it. Somewhat by chance, I ended up in New Zealand right before the pandemic, where I’ve lived for the last three years.

When I was missing the community back home in Portland, I learned many of his songs and realized I enjoyed singing, ‘I Love You, Babe.’ I feel really good when I’m singing it. Also, I love how the song explains the mystery of what it is to love someone and how that experience is beyond words. There are so many love songs because it’s impossible to get at fully, so we keep trying. We show our love in the pursuit of expressing our love. This song says, “I love you, babe, but I don’t know why.”

Your new album, Two Kilos of Blue, will be released soon! What’s been your favorite part of bringing your vision for this album to life?

I shared a studio with my friend Nick in Kirikiriroa, New Zealand, for the year and a half I was working on this record. It was the first time I had a dedicated space to work. I saved some money and could work full-time in the studio to experiment and try different takes and approaches to a greater extent than in the past. I had a lot of fun, got lost, and explored the dimensions of myself. I experimented extensively with sampling, which felt like a collaborative time-warping experience. In the past, I’ve had to squeeze music-making around the time left over from working a job. This time around was different.

What inspired you to start making music? Do you have any favorite music-related memories you’d like to share?

I started writing songs when I was seventeen or eighteen to express my big emotions. It was very cathartic for me. When I was a kid, my dad and uncle would hang out in the garage, singing along late into the night to The Eagles and Billy Joel. That was the first subconscious model I had.

It’s hard to pick out music-related memory, but here’s one: I used to watch Jon Brion perform as often as I could at Largo. I’d try to make it out at least once a month, if not more. All those performances are very special to me, but one stands out: He played the most epic, celestial version of I Want You (She’s So Heavy) one night as his closer. He built up many layers, dimensions, harmonics, and rhythms; it was very transcendent. All of his show shows were transportive in their way, but that one opened up a door to The Beatles for me. AfterwardI went home and had Abbey Road on repeat and went deeper from there.

What goals do you want to achieve through your music? Also, what would you want it to be if your listeners could take one thing away from your music?

I want to refine my craft and make the music of my dreams. I’d love to play for more people and potentially go out on a tour. I want to write really good songs. If my songs could be a source of joy or consolation to a listener, I’d feel like I was giving back what so many artists have given me with their songs.

What’s next for Brandon De La Cruz? Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans?

I’ve got many new songs and recordings I’m working on. I’m trying to experiment more and more with writing and arrangements. I’m really into Studio One Records right now. I don’t know how those records will resonate with my style, but I’m so absorbed seem likely they’ll have some effect.


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