CIL Standouts As One To Watch on New EP ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ [EP Review]

Sundhya Alter

Last year, CIL released “One More Shot” a track that narrated her experience with unrequited love through a pop/alternative wave of sound, redeeming both her vocal prowess and her touching ability to make deeply personal experiences relatable and intimate. Following the single, the rising artist released her first EP, Tears Dry On Their Own, an close exploration of her inner monologues and her darkest battles with herself, graceful and delicate she leads the project through a cohesive storyline of violent urges, lustful indulges and in the end, a existential reckoning with self love. As her first EP, the project is the artists official entrance into the music scene. Gracefully executed, CIL puts a deeply intricate spin on modern love and creates an indelible mark on the industry in doing so.

Calling out her previous relationship and its toxic grab for intimacy are her guiding posts throughout the project, but she’s not deceived by conditional love. “Leave” is a warning signal sent out through belts of jazz inspired vocal riffs, woven through slow and sultry bass she makes a rich departure from the projections of a future she no longer wants. In between revenge plots and snake analogies, CIL flourishes within the first and only moment of romance we hear throughout the project, but not to anyone in particular. On “Try” she writes a symphonic ballad to herself, the song is a breakthrough, amidst the violent scenery she paints of heartbreak, “Try” is a desperate attempt at valuable concessions aimed at self-love for no one but herself, “Then, baby, try, try, try for me. They say your bridge is burned. And you can't fake a smile. But baby, try, try, try for me.” 

But healing isn’t linear, and it becomes difficult to see straight when reminders of the past snake their way into shards of fractured memories. In “Devil In Your Eyes” CIL plays with vivid images of satin drapes and golden chalices only to expose the facade that lies beneath them. Interlaced through spotty memories of half-hearted promises CIL indulges in a littering of dynamic riffs, unable to conceal the love that she once felt but strong enough to resist its reclaiming power. Throughout the EP death makes a consistent appearance alongside love, the two intertwining between similar emotive responses of anger and loss. 

By the end of the project, tangents and brief scrutiny aside, this relationship between death and love comes full circle. “Girl I used to be” is a cinematic play set in the graveyard of her previous selfs funeral. Ending with hyper pop inspired ballad, the harmonies flow like a calming after a storm, even in moments of piano crescendos and echoing percussion solos, CIL remains powerful over the production, both in vocals and in stature. Remaining poised and graceful through the noise is what guides the project as a cohesive story, while narrating her unique experiences with unrequited love, her role as a storyteller is what stakes relatability against obscurity. There is no longer room for competing visions of love or the desire to be wanted, instead its an attempt to fall in love with herself all over again.

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