Good Morning to you! This is Jacob Braybrooke, and the time has come for you to perk up your ears in preparation for yet another daily track on the blog, because it’s always my day-to-day pleasure to write up about a different piece of music every day! If I told you on the radio that I was going to play you a new track by an artist with a name (Ciel – Pronounced: Ceal) just like that, you’d be forgiven for expecting to hear some kind of 00’s-leaning Pop, R&B and Soul record. However, you’d be confusing them for Seal. On the other hand, Ciel are an emerging indie rock trio led by vocalist-guitarist Michelle Hindriks drawing from diverse influences such as Sheogaze, Dream-Pop, Prog-Rock, 90’s Grunge, Symphonic Rock and Psychedelic Rock. With members hailing from The Netherlands and Spain in addition to the UK, Ciel have recently captured my imagination when ‘Fine Everything’ gained positive reviews from the panel on last week’s episode of Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable on BBC Radio 6 Music. Ciel have also been praised by sites like KEXP, WFW, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio, Clash Magazine, Earmilk and Under The Radar too. In recent times, Ciel have been preparing for their upcoming EP by working with Steven Ansell (of Blood Red Shoes fame) as their producer and mixer. The trio have also been supporting She Drew The Gun, Sasami and Penelope Isles across sold out live shows in London and Brighton (Where they are currently based) too. I also read that Ciel have been long-listed for this year’s Emerging Talent Competition at Glastonbury Festival as well, which should continue to shine a spotlight on the band as a valuable commodity within the music industry. On that note, let’s check out their fresh new single, ‘Fine Everything’, below.
Talking passionately about the melodic new offering of Shoegaze-inflicted Indie Rock, frontwoman Michelle Hindriks notes, “It’s about coming of age, and not really knowing how to navigate life. The doubts and difficulties that involve life-changing decisions, yet maybe not being ready growing up, when all your friends are. I was thinking of how so many people lost touch with their inner gut feeling and instincts, and how all the possibilities in life can feel so overwhelming sometimes. It’s almost kind of easier to stay oblivious to it instead of digging deep into your mind“, in her own words. The single oozes charisma with an insistent groove created by the fuzzy walls of anthemic guitar sound and driving drums from the get-go, while lyrics like “Ignorant to the shame, It evoked/Threatened by the drought, caught up in doubt” and “Don’t you know, I am longing for/To be told how to live my life” break down the decision making processes that we all face, punctuated by the Shoegaze guitars and the angsty, classic Punk attitude that gives the tempo a more brooding personality. They unleash a fun and chaotic guitar solo towards the end, while the chorus introduces a more accessible Pop sensibility into the mix due to its rhythmic pulse, while the verses feel more gritty and determined in texture. There’s some hook-filled melodies in here, but it retains a sharp Post-Punk feel overall because the Brighton-based band aren’t afraid to hit you with a distorted wall of sound, but they tie it in with a melodic style and some familiar Pop-driven songwriting. It doesn’t feel shrouded in borderline territory between Dream-Pop and Post-Rock, but it instead feels like it has a more direct punch to its sound that makes it feel memorable when it digs into your brain. It works nicely as a companion for the lyrics, which are all about tacking the uncertainty of thoughts that linger in your brain about your future as a young adult and how these unsettling noises in our minds invade our lifestyle, backed by an edgy Garage feel that resonates with the modern indie production clearly. While it is nothing too innovative and I’ve probably heard most of their ideas before, it is still a solid track that is very catchy and noisy, in the best way possible, that still leaves me thirsting for more content from Ciel soon. It is not re-inventing the wheel, but the wheel keeps spinning without fault.
That’s all for me today, but I hope that your day turns out to go just fine. I’ll be back for a new edition of ‘Way Back Wednesdays’ tomorrow where will be remembering the work of a Lancashire-born R&B and Pop singer who was a member of groups like Shotgun Express, The She Trinity, Sinbad and Gambler in the 1970’s, and she has been described as “undeservedly neglected” by Bruce Eder, a respected writer for AllMusic.
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