Life After Death

January 29, 2021

Written, recorded, mixed, vocals, production & engineering by Erik David Hidde 
Artwork by Zhen Hong, Adrianna Geo & edited by Erik David Hidde 
Michaelangelo’s painting on top of the Palace of Versailles 

One of my favorite new singles of 2021. A lush and beautiful atmosphere with strong lyrical content and song building, as well as a satisfying climax. – Music Firm 

“Life After Death” by Prison Escapee is a struggle of mortality versus faith. Erik David Hidde is Prison Escapee, a musician residing in Los Angeles with a heart that resides in his songs. I reviewed Prison Escapee’s album released early in the pandemic, aptly named 20/20, and could feel the melancholy of it, the musical representation of unprocessed grief and searching for the ability to feel again. There was also the striking resemblance of Erik’s voice to Matt Berninger of The National. His music is a cinematic blend that makes you want to night-drive through the city and reflect on loneliness. 

I recognize the intro as kind of a signature of Prison Escapee songs throughout the last album. He’s notable for long, instrumental intros and the first 20 seconds of “Life After Death” are a shimmering organ reverb, like this is a funeral and we are now exploring his thoughts from the casket. 

I do not have the lyrics in front of me for this four-minute journey, but the opening line is “Life after death is real”. Hidde’s songs often intertwine a sense of heavy sadness with a firm foundation of faith, and I see a battle that goes on in many of the lyrics from 20/20, a struggle of, “well, I have a devastating existential loneliness, but my faith in God affirms my hope that after death there’s something better than what I’m feeling in this moment.” 

Right around the 1:50 mark, there’s an unexpected upbeat tonal shift, like the sadness dissipated and suddenly an electro winter wonderland opens. It reminds me of the keyboard in “Be Still My Heart” by The Postal Service. There’s that extended instrumental signature again, as the interlude carries on for an extended moment, coating the song in a soft covering of electronic flurries. His singing voice throughout this song is almost crying out, and he re-asserts the importance of having his soul at peace before death. 

So, this reaffirms that two-sided struggle that saturates his lyrical themes. There’s the internal battle between defying your own mortality and learning to feel again versus proclaiming that no matter what happens, it’s okay, because there will always be life after death. – The Audio Glow 

This is really cool! Damn, the glitchy synth line at around the 2 minute mark took me by surprise! – In Short Reviews 

Go and listen to this beautiful song! – Music Recommender