Brighton-based alt-pop three-piece CIEL are back with the dutifully dreamy, "Pretty Face." The tastefully saccharine number forgoes some of their more typical noir-rock flavours in view of enhancing the shimmering and truly enveloping textures, all whilst maintaining their unmistakably melancholic sound.
A masterclass in the transformative power of music, frontwoman Michelle Hindriks' vocal, equal parts glacial and syrupy sweet, pulls you into their colourful world an instant. Simply written, yet wildly relatable, your own personal story fills in the space between each thought-provoking word. With much of the focus on the storytelling vocal, steadfast drums and bass smoothly carry the melodies forward, with sporadic responsive guitar riffs arriving in compliment.
The lyrics unfold like a vividly unrequited love song with lovesick yet personally introspective platitudes maintaining throughout, but as Hindriks explains in an email statement, this is far from your typical love song. She reveals that “I really got into watching documentaries about all sorts of cults during lockdown 2.0, the psychology behind it really fascinates me. This one story really struck me, about this man that lost his wife to a cult, and now ten years later continuing life, knowing that she’s still somewhere out there having to let go of her. Whereas most people probably can’t directly relate to something as extreme as losing someone to a cult, a lot more people can relate to the experience of choosing to care for themselves, even if that is a very tough decision.”