Are you ready to have those heartstrings tugged on a little bit today? Huntington, West Virginia’s Cypress, is pleased to be issuing their new single “Made of Coal,” another sampling to come from their forthcoming new album firstfruits. Their debut record, firstfruits, will be released on April 27th, a group of songs that draw from traditional folk music, as well as modern pop, classical, Christian, and country music.
The Huntington, West Virginia-based trio combines emotional lyrics and melodies, with intricate instrumentals, and those wholesome down-home vocal harmonies. “Made of Coal” is very near and dear to lead singer Cierra Doss, a song she wrote about her father and her appreciation for him. Working as a coal miner to provide for Cierra and her family, this is a tribute to him and all of the blood, sweat, and tears he invested to offer his wife and children the best life he could provide. It’s a very relatable song that no doubt will resonate with listeners who have a special bond and appreciation for all that their parents have done for them.
Explaining the song in more depth, Doss said, “Any time anyone asks me about the creation of ‘Made of Coal,’ I always have to say it felt like it existed inside of me for a long, long time before I ever brought it to life. It is about a real person, my daddy, which I still unashamedly call him. Our relationship has been perhaps the most beautifully complicated one I’ve ever witnessed between a child and parent. As one of the maybe the last little Appalachian ‘Coal Miners’ Daughters” it’s such an honour to be able to tell my daddy’s story. It’s one of self-sacrifice, pain, shame, victory, and unconditional love. It’s about never giving up on one another. We’ve disappointed one another time after time, and even though we don’t have the words to express it sometimes, we’d undoubtedly give our lives for one another in an instant. I think that’s about as real as it gets.
My daddy mined coal to feed my sister, my brother, my mother, and me. In turn, I think it’s the least I could do to share the story of his struggle and the mental and physical tolls that coal mining took on him the best way I know how; through song. The Coal Miner’s Daughter situation might be one that’s pretty unique to me, but loving someone enough to see how valuable they truly are is not. Hope y’all can relate. I would love nothing more than to make people feel like they’re not alone with my music.”
The three members of Cypress have a strong, shared bond that extends back to their time at Marshall University together. As Doss alluded to, the band is heavily inspired by traditional Appalachian music, most evident in their use of present vocal harmonies, which really emphasize the strong musical bond shared by Doss and her husband Zac. They are backed up by Steven Schumann, a master of many instruments, most notably the cello.
Outside of their music, the members of Cypress are heavily invested in certain social causes. They recently paired up with Marshall University in their native Huntington, as well as local addiction recovery centers, to use their music to help lift the spirits of others. Not only do they actively perform, but they also are developing a music education program, focused on teaching musical skills to those recovering from addiction. The purpose is to facilitate therapeutic emotional outlets through music, and also help build a sense of togetherness and community.
A channel for positivity, Cypress is intent on using their music as a connective force that will encourage both health and wellness for us all.