Eliza & The Delusionals – Now and Then (Album Review)

Eliza & The Delusionals – Now and Then (Album Review)

The newly rising band known as Eliza & The Delusionals was formed in 2016, in Potsville, New South Wales, Australia. Making waves and catapulted to popularity four years later, many have learned about them through the strength of their catchy Indie/Guitar Pop single, “Just Exist.” This prompted them to tour the United States, where they ultimately experienced fame and recognition. Quick to respond to such opportunity, the young group- Eliza Klatt (lead vocals), Kurt Skuse (guitar), Ashley Martin (guitar), and Ruby Lee (bass)- put out their A State Of Living In An Objective Reality EP in 2020, but now release a proper full-length album. 

Released on Friday, May 20, 2022, via Cooking Vinyl Records, Eliza & The Delusionals’ first full-length is the twelve track Now and Then. Anticipated among followers, it starts with “Give You Everything,” which undulates softly with its pulsating beat, sad synth melodies, and Klatt’s sultry voice. The ensuing “Save Me” is another heartrending track, vibing off echoes of Kim Carnes’s “Betty Davies Eyes,” which is actually a 1975 original by Jackie DelShannon. From here “You” then pops out of the loudspeakers, like shiny splinters of ’90s Alternative Pop glory; it will fit onto a playlist that includes “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia, “Buses and Trains” by Bachelor Girl, and “Sway” by Bic Runga.

Eliza & The Delusionals then pushes the accelerator, with the sunny, upbeat, guitar-jangly “Nothing Yet” and the alluring Sophistipop midtempo “Lonely.” A slight darkening of mood then occurs with “Halloween”–a bit Goth, a tad Post-Punk; only to step out into the light again, with the angular “Bed Song.” After relaxing the ambient for a minute with the dreamy interlude “Bed Now,” the band then delivers what may be regarded as the album’s highlight–the shoegazy stomper “Get a Hold of You.”

With more to offer, another sweet, fuzzy song then plays next in the form of “Circles,” made infectious by the cyclical guitar ad-libs and fair-light keyboard lines that complement each other. The second-to-the last song, “All the Time” is another nostalgia moment; listen and feel why. Finally, Eliza & The Delusionals finish their debut album with the slowly waving title-track–an apt closer to a solid first record.

Many fans of the various genres of music, which include Indie Pop, fall in the folly of claiming that there is no more good new music to listen to these days. They are wrong! Surely, they just lack the open-mindedness and initiative necessary in exploring and diving deeply into the vast ocean of music out there. Gems abound, not only from the sonic seas of yesteryears but also from elsewhere in the current times. Eliza & The Delusionals are among them. There is just something in their music that could pull one’s sentimental heartstrings and make one reminisce and shed bittersweet tears. Their latest effort proves that. Thus, Cryptic Rock gives Now and Then 4 out of 5 stars.

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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