Multi-national trio CIEL have recently found a home in Brighton. The band’s reputation has thus far been built on their impressive live show which has been winning them plenty of acclaim, as well as support slots for the likes of Hatchie, Sasami and fellow Brightonians, Penelope Isles. The dream-poppers are currently building up towards the release of their debut EP, Movement, which will take their blend of alt-pop and shoegaze to a far wider audience.
So far, the band have shared two tracks from the record, the well received, The Shore and their most recent offering, Days. The two tracks show two subtly contrasting moods from the band; The Shore is a lush, slow paced dreamer, while Days heads straight for the jugular with driving Amber Arcades-like rhythms and rapid tumbles of guitar riffing. That said both tracks are pulled together by their ability to transport you as a listener, to take you out of the moment and spiral you off into their gorgeous musical landscapes. While they’ve been taking their time emerging into the world, on this evidence it’s time well spent, CIEL are more than worth the wait.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are CIEL?
We are an alt-pop band from Brighton, with members from The Netherlands, Spain and the UK. We love bands like Cate Le Bon, Blonde Redhead and Broadcast and these shared inspirations brought us together as a group.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show as a band in Brighton was at The Prince Albert and beyond all expectations it was packed. I was very nervous but I think people liked it, so it encouraged us to keep going with this project and to play more shows.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I have always been making both music and visual art, and I still do. Though, at some point I got more focussed on music. I think it was during my teenage years when I went to as many exciting gigs as possible in my hometown Groningen. Music became the thing in my life that made my high school period less boring. I wanted to be part of this exciting scene, so I started songwriting and playing in bands myself and never really stopped doing that haha.
FTR: What can people expect from the CIEL live show?
When we play the songs we all get into a sort of trance, entirely into the music and enjoying it to the fullest. I am actually quite shy and awkward on stage when speaking to the audience, so luckily the guys help me out with that – they are a bit more careless and make funny jokes that balances out my awkwardness haha. We worked hard on our live-set and I think it sounds quite full, it is definitely as dreamy as on the record but at times it is a little more heavy live, sometimes even a bit grungy.
FTR: What’s next for CIEL?
We will release our next single in a couple of weeks and our EP will come out in April, which is very exciting! We will be doing a small tour to France at the beginning of April, playing a festival in a cute little town called Clermont. Later on in April we will be heading off to Spain to support Feng Suave on their Spanish tour and we will of course play more in the UK after the EP release.
They Listen To…
1. Ariel Pink – Time To Live
Jorge: My absolute discovery of last year was Ariel Pink, I arrived a little bit late to the party and still in the process of listening to his whole discography, but he has quickly become one of my favourite artists, Spotify statistics from the end of the year 2019 showed he was my Top Artist and my Top Streamed Song of the year was also his track ‘Time To Live’ from the album ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’, his arrangements, production, vocals melodies and the endless layers of instrumentation are a huge influence for me right now and during the recording of our EP.
2. Chris Cohen – As if Apart
Kieran: Ever since my friend Ben showed me this track I haven’t stopped listening to it. This was my gateway to Chris Cohen, but he has 3 albums of great music all worth checking out!
3. Sam Evian X Kazu Makino – Next To You
Michelle: Two of my favorite artists together in one song! I started listening to Sam Evian only last year and Blonde Redhead is a band I am listening to for quite a long time now. Kazu her songwriting, lyrics and voice are phenomenal in my opinion and the two of them together was one of my favorite discoveries last year.
4. Black Marble – It’s Conditional
Jorge: Another really influential artist for me is Black Marble, specially his 2016 album “It’s Immaterial”. This is an album I’ve improvised a lot over throughout the year to come out with my own guitar parts for CIEL and also to experiment with my pedals to discover new sounds that I could achieve. I found a really comfortable space in the songs of this album for me to play over and add my own stuff, this made me get really attached to it. I love this album, I could listen to it from beginning to end anytime, I find the flow between all the tracks hypnotic.
5. Big Thief – Not
Michelle: Since a friend of mine played Big Thief to me a couple of months ago I am hooked to their music! At the moment I listen to their song ‘Not’ on a loop, I can’t get enough of it. Somehow this song resonates with me a lot.
Movement is out this Spring. Click HERE for more information on Ciel.