Unrequited love: what is it good for? If not a character-building experience, it at the least has provided musicians with fuel to write some of music’s greatest tracks. While it is hardly a new thesis, this genre of heartbreak allows for the kind of introspection that reveals insecurities. Instead of disguising the pain like most of us would be tempted to do, CIL writes her wounds. Descriptive enough to inspire emotional attachment and vague enough for shared relatability, her writing is descended from pop stars of the last decade. Where the rookie singer truly shines is in her veteran-esque performance. She is dominant in all dimensions of her newest single, distinguishing “One More Shot” as above your cliché love song. The song crescendos and oscillates at a steady pace, lyrics matching the building tension of the instrumental, and CIL’s voice changes demeanor precisely on cue. In just over 2 minutes, she’s smug, gentle, tempered, innocent, and most of all, alluring.
While her identity as an artist may seem well-developed, it wasn’t without strain. After moving to Los Angeles at only 18 years old with dreams of being a musician, CIL has spent the last year and a half defining her sound and receiving clarity on her artistic purpose. A product of Fort Collins, CO, she cites her early inspirations as Etta James, Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Lana Del Rey.
“I just loved how their voices sounded and the emotion they carried in their performances – so when I started making music myself, I knew I wanted to tell stories the way they did,” she says. Just as her writing would suggest, her approach to music is genuine: “I’ve always found that music has such a healing component to it. During some of the lowest moments in my life, music was an escape for me – but it also helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, because these artists I listened to had been through similar experiences, and that comforted me. I hope I can make the kind of music that heals people… I want to be that support system for those who need it.”
Her debut single proves not only her potential but merit as one of pop’s most exciting new voices. As far as first impressions go, CIL has earned the right to impress us again whenever it may be we next hear from her.