The Black Lillies’ Cruz Contreras Turns The Page With Psychedelic Solo Debut Cosmico

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Sunday, September 17, 2023

With the release of his debut album, Cosmico, Cruz Contreras—known worldwide as the founder and frontman of The Black Lillies and founder of the CCStringband—is born again, able to express himself with pure artistic integrity and proud to put out this release using his own name; his family’s name. Following a too-long period of self-doubt, both personally and in his songwriting—“It was so confusing because it seems to be what I’ve always been best at and has brought me so much joy,” he reflects—Contreras used the writing and recording process of Cosmico to center himself, push out his musical demons, and open the door for a fresh chapter.

The resulting album feels pure; a cosmic amalgamation of influences and personal styles from Contreras’s entire career. Introspective lyrics, inventive musicianship, and a notable psychedelic edge on the production of the album define Cosmico, almost as much as a confident-as-ever Cruz, whose voice has matured into a rich instrument for his elevated lyrics. “These songs are fresh, timely, and especially relatable during these strange times,” Contreras says. “I made Cosmico because the world needs music that brings people together, from all walks of life, more than ever.”

Fans can stream or purchase Cosmico in its entirety today by following this link. Contreras is celebrating the release of Cosmico with a special show tonight at Yeehaw Brewing Co. in Knoxville, Tennessee. A full list of tour dates can be found below or at

More About Cosmico: 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 and features introspective lyrics, an addition of psychedelic edge on the production of the album, and a confident-as-ever Cruz whose voice has matured into a rich instrument for his elevated lyrics. 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 (Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack) and Megan McCormick (Jenny Lewis, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah). Engineered by Craig Alvin (Kasey Musgraves), Cosmico is a sonic journey that features Contreras on keyboards in his most intimate vocal and lyrical setting while taking his traditional musical stylings to epic astral regions.

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

Catch Cruz Contreras On Tour:

Sept. 15 - Knoxville, TN - Yeehaw Brewing Co. *Record Release Show*

Sept. 16 - Westminster, SC - Music On Main

Sept. 22 - Nashville, TN - Americanafest 2023 - The Basement

Oct. 4-5 - Sevierville, TN - Dollywood’s Harvest Festival

Oct. 13 - Johnson City, TN - The Down Home

Oct. 26 - Troy, VA - Yarnival 2023

Nov. 3 - Thomas, WV - The Purple Fiddle

For more ticket information, please visit