Tracy Cruz – H3artifacts, Art of Facts, Purple H3artifacts (3 EP set)
Tracy Cruz – H3artifacts, Art of Facts, Purple H3artifacts
Pain has often been one of the building blocks used to construct works of art. And the willingness to share with the world the aftermath of moments of loss, betrayal, injury – be it physical, emotional or spiritual – is part of an artist’s unwritten job description. Tracy Cruz embraces the artist’s obligation to go where the truth takes her even if that journey requires her to uncover, reveal and deal with the pain on a trio of EP’s that she – along with her band Instrumentali-T – released over the last year. The final EP in that series, Purple H3artifacts, will be released on July 28.
The songs on H3artifacts and Purple H3artifcats – the EP that drops on July 28 are the same, but arrangements are different. The former places Cruz in a sparse piano and voice arrangement while Intrumentali-T joins the singer on Purple H3artifacts on a work that is jazz infused R&B. The third album in the trio, Art of Facts, contains different songs and a different spirit.
Chronologically, Art of Facts is the second in the series. However, anyone listening to them might want to play that one last because its four tracks are more upbeat, like the affirming and funky number “Keep Our Soul Alive,” and keeps with that EP’s theme of preserving and overcoming. Art of Facts bears some similarities to Purple H3artifacts from an arrangement standpoint.
Cruz’s strength as a lyricist stands out as the highest virtue on a project that has many strong points. Her writing ability is most clearly illustrated on “Losing in Love,” her new single and one of the tracks that can be heard on both H3artifacts and Purple H3artifacts.
Three of the tracks on those albums deal with an aspect of loss and regret. “Losing In Love” addresses a person confronting the full measure of what they have lost. “I Wish I Could” is a stream of conscious airing of regret for sins of omission and commission. Cruz endows “My H3art Says to You,” with a vibe and fuses blues and gospel on the Purple H3artifacts version, a cut that finds her reminiscing on all the things that she didn’t do or say and hoping for a second chance. “For all the times I wasn’t there/for all the times I didn’t care/For all the times I didn’t know/for all the times I didn’t show.”
Cruz said she wrote the songs during a difficult time when the tears would not stop. She poured that hurt into the songs, and that comes through particularly on the piano and voice version heard on H3artifacts, where her phrasing conveys a sense of pain and loss when paired with the piano.
In an August 2017 interview with her hometown newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, to promote the release of H3artifacts, Cruz said that she wanted to songs to convey pure honesty and rawness. “I wanted to convey a sense of deep vulnerability. We put masks on to hide our pain. It’s OK. We’re human, and sometimes we break down. We don’t always have to show our strength.”
Cruz puts her humanity of display on this three part EP, and in doing show she also showcases her strength as a vocalist, and lyricist as well as a person. Recommended.
By Howard Dukes