It’s about time pop music had its own hymn to the enduring power of an old-fashioned platonic connection. Maybe we were just waiting for the right prophet. “Day One,” the breakout single from Austin, Texas’ Aline Garza, is more than the debut of a major new artist—it’s a ride-or-die pledge that’s headed straight for the first page of every listener’s inner keepsake journal.
Over a Beatlesque piano pedal and a drum pattern as inexorable as the forward march of time, Garza waxes poetic about a bond that’s so strong it feels timeless:
We cried over love and broken hearts
Picked each other up and patched the scars
Can’t even count on two hands
The number of nights you came and saved me from myself
You taught me brave
We’ll take the secrets to the grave
The chorus swells with the strength of a thousand sleepover heart-to-hearts:
It was the first sign of sun in over a month
Now look at us 24/7
You’re my Day One
“Writing the song ‘Day One’ came from a personal experience of making friends that are long term and always have your back,” Garza says. “The message I want this song to give is to cherish your friendships and don’t take them for granted.”
Plus, she adds, “Friends are cheaper than a therapist.”
The almost gospel-like testifying of the track is no accident, given that Garza was wowing church crowds of more than 3,000 by the age of 9. After some intensive honing of her craft at a vocal seminar she remembers as transformative, she won the “Best New Artist” award in her age group at the Vocal Star New Year’s Gala Competition and made the finals of the Dream Night talent competition. She even got to sing the National Anthem at a minor-league baseball game in Austin in 2023.
That’s when the music industry really began to take notice. For her first foray into the recording studio, she was able to bring along some pretty impressive friends of her own: “Day One” was produced by hitmaker Adam H. (who has worked with artists as diverse as Ray J, Ne-Yo, Elise Estrada, Def Leppard and Loverboy) and mixed by five-time Grammy winner Orlando Calzada (Lady Gaga, One Direction, Beyonce, Destiny’s Child). Garza co-wrote the song with Adam H. and Don Wolf (lead singer of ’80s major-label metalers White Wolf and a past collaborator with acts like Bon Jovi, Poison and Motley Crue).
“Writing ‘Day One’ with Adam H. and Don Wolf was a great experience, because it was like writing with my second family,” Garza says.
Her first family has been pretty significant as well. The youngest of five siblings, Garza counts her oldest brother and her father among her major inspirations and mentors as she travels the musical path she’s chosen. At this point, that path could take her anywhere—not just in pop, but also in R&B, country, Christian music and any of the other stylistic skill sets she’s managed to hone. If this is “Day One,” it’s going to be a heck of a year.