Band: Cold Hart
Album: Every Day Is A Day
When Cold Hart, the moniker of Filipino Long Beach, California-born songwriter and producer Jerick ‘Jay’ Quilisadio, semi-jokingly affixed the hashtag #gothboiclique to one of the songs that he’d sent to like-minded artist Philadelphia-based artist Wicca Phase Springs Eternal in 2012, he didn’t think the term would make such a lasting impact. Wicca and Cold Hart had already been sending each other beats over the internet, but the turn of phrase caught Wicca’s attention, and GothBoiClique became the name for the influential rap collective that naturally formed around this initial collaboration. Alongside Cold Hart and Wicca, GothBoiClique brought together artists Lil Peep, Døves, Fish Narc, YAWNS, Mackned, Lil Tracy, Horsehead, and JPDreamthug. Together they pioneered a brazen hybrid of emo and hip hop that brought a modern production sensibility to guitar riffs and samples that will sound instantly nostalgic to kids that grew up listening to bands like Brand New and Blink-182. It’s a syncretic approach to songwriting that’s now penetrated the mainstream, but it’s one that Cold Hart has been meticulously fine-tuning over the years through mixtapes like 2017’sMarvelous Misadventures of Coldyor on one off production, like on Lil Peep’s “skyscrapers” from the late artist’s fourth mixtape. Cold Hart takes this signature sound to new heights with his upcoming sophomore album for Epitaph Records, Every Day Is A Day. Following his 2019 debut album Good Morning Cruel Word, which found Coldy leaning more into traditional pop punk songwriting and instrumentation, the newalbum finds Cold Hart bringing his adept songwriting skills into sharper focus and expanding his palette of sonic touchstones.
Back in GothBoiClique’s early days, Cold Hart produced under the name Jayyeah. He twisted the pop punk and metal songs that soundtracked his youth into languid hip hop tracks with drum programming that recalled the likes of Chief Keef and Gucci Mane. In those days, most of the members of GBC convened in a house in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of east Los Angeles. There was a small scene starting to spring up around them—they played shows at small venues and warehouses nearby to sometimes just a crowd of five people aside from the other members of the GBC crew. At that point, people were a bit slow to embrace the type of music that they were making. “People weren’t fucking with it too hard,” he remembers. “We just wanted to make the music that we grew up listening to, but we only knew how to make music with trap drums.” It wasn’t until photos and videos of these parties started making the rounds on the internet, after which people got a sense for Cold Hart and GBC’s uncanny style—it wasn’t unusual for GBC affiliates to dress up as twins in outfits that they had hand painted themselves—that more people started to take notice.
Beyond this more expansive approach to songwriting,Every Day Is A Dayfinds Cold Hart coming into his own as a lyricist. He wrote the album over the course of the pandemic after moving to Long Island with hiswife and newborn daughter, and he recorded it during the particularly dreary winter. Cold Hart weaves the consequences of these shifts, whether it be coming to terms with fatherhood, learning how to drive on icy suburban roads covered in snow, or staying present through painful experiences, into the thematic patchwork of the album. He wrote “Decompose” last summer about wanting to support his daughter even when the light gets low, so to speak, and these moments of tenderness course through the record as anantidote to some of Cold Hart’s characteristically dark sonic touchstones and themes. “Wild Wild West” finds him revisiting his hometown of Long Beach, recalling days spent speeding down the freeway with his friends, grabbing burgers, and taking in the sights of the shoreline and palm trees. It’s an embrace of the quotidian that he didn’t necessarily think people would connect with before, and it’s a mark of a songwriter more comfortable connecting with people by sharing more of himself in his work. “I wastrying to capture darkness and deal with it instead of complaining,” Cold Hart says of the tonal sea change of his lyrics. “ It’s not like I’m singing about wanting to die,” Cold Hart says, referencing how his earlier work is usually perceived by others. “I don’t try to numb the darkness. You just have to live with it.” This mature spirit animates the entirety of Every Day Is A Day, which is the strongest showcase of Cold Hart’s intrepid approach to songwriting and production yet.