A guided tour from CIEL
22:59 6th October 2022

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CIEL have been on our radar for a while, from way back when they were dropping tracks on soundcloud. The Brighton trio have remained on the cutting edge of modern shoegazey sounds for some time now, making dream-pop infused tracks that swell so big with such ease, they're a flawless playlist add.

And more, there's more. Releasing their EP Not In The Sun, Nor In The Dark, it's their first complete project to sit on Spotify, already teasing us for a possibly, hopeful future album...

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Providing the perfect introduction to the EP, Michelle walked us through Not In The Sun, Nor In The Dark, track by track...

Back To The Feeling

Michelle: 'Back To The Feeling started' off as quite a spiritual song. Eventually it is about being brought back to feeling completely absorbed in the moment, carelessness and staying up late, which is quite down to earth but yet feels like a wholesome, hedonistic thing to me now. Whereas this was a thing that would happen to you automatically when you’re younger, nowadays I feel like it can be more of a challenge and I need to work hard to reach a state of mind like that, completely away from my phone and any other distractions.

Fine Everything

Michelle: I wrote 'Fine Everything' a couple of years ago, in my rehearsal studio in The Netherlands. I recorded a lo-fi demo of it and it had just been sitting on my hard disk - I kind of forgot about it actually. It was just a distorted guitar riff with some 505 drums and a vocal line singing some gibberish and the chorus: “Fine Everything, everything’s fine, it’s just fine”. One evening hanging out in my flat I played Tim and Jorge some of my old demos, not really thinking they were anything special, but they picked out this very underdeveloped demo as something they especially liked. We worked on it as a band, re-imagined all the parts and I wrote new lyrics for them, still trying to stay true to the original idea. The song is about coming of age, and not really knowing how to navigate it. The doubts and difficulties that involve making life decisions - maybe not being ready growing up, when all your friends are.

Baby Don’t You Know

Michelle: 'Baby Don’t You Know' was such a fun song to work on and to record! I think we recorded it really fast in the studio. The chords in the song kind of stay the same the whole way through, so our producer Steven came up with the idea of recording the guitars and drums with different sounds, so even though the chords don’t change the sounds of all the instruments vary quite a lot in different sections. We also made our own music video for 'Baby Don’t You Know' - filmed during a sunny afternoon on the sofa in my living room in front of a green screen. It’s just the three of us hanging about on my sofa, but in a really color coordinated and 90’s VHS way, haha.

Not In The Sun, Nor In The Dark

Michelle: 'Not In The Sun, Nor In The Dark' feels like such a special song to me. It’s also the title of this EP - it makes me think of an in-between state in which you maybe just stopped doing a thing and are preparing for the next. Or the dawn, when the night is over but the day hasn’t really started yet, it’s not dark anymore, but the sun hasn’t fully come up either. I like this in-between state, as it is a moment for inspiration, new possibilities and starting again. The song however is themed a lot darker and is about trauma or bad experiences that someone doesn’t want to go through again.

Far Away

Michelle: 'Far Away' is possibly the weirdest song on the EP, but it’s one of my favorites. I think it translates really well to our live set too, and I love playing it live! This was a very old song of mine too which I wrote when I still lived in The Netherlands, which we completely re-built into something new as a band. I had no idea how to end the song and then Steven came up with the idea to make an outro that destroys itself.

Not In The Sun, Nor In The Dark is out now

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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