There’s an intrinsic mystique to CIEL‘s dreamy alt-pop gems, which feel both futuristic and nostalgic.

Comprised of Dutch musician Michelle Hindriks and the friends she made upon relocating to Brighton, the quartet are fast earning kudos and have an otherworldly EP produced by Penelope Isles’ Jack Wolter on the way in 2020.

They’ll be bringing their fresh material to Hidden Herd Presents at The Finsbury on Friday (6th December), so we had a brief chat with them about all things CIEL ahead of the show.

How would you describe CIEL to a stranger?

“Alt-pop with shoegazey and dreamy influences.”

Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?

“A few of our biggest inspirations are bands like Alvvays, Deerhunter, Blonde Redhead and Broadcast. I am a massive fan of all these artists. The combination of catchy melodies, combined with an interesting and outstanding sound is what always does it for me.”

What was the best gig you’ve played so far?

“Our tour with Vök in The Netherlands has definitely been a highlight of the past year! We played a bunch of my favourite venues in The Netherlands, all sold-out, and it was really special for me to bring my friends from the UK to my own country. Beforehand I had the feeling I was living two separate lives, but this tour was the first moment in which these two lives mixed up and that was pretty awesome! We stayed at places of friends of mine over the whole country and had the greatest time.”

You’re based in Brighton – what’s your local music scene like?

“The music scene in Brighton is absolutely great! There is such an inspiring scene of bands around and a lot of them became good friends of ours over the past year. I am very happy to be a part of that, as it is a special thing to share with other people and a way that connects people. There is a booming scene of alt-pop, shoegazey influenced bands around in Brighton at the moment. A few of them are Penelope Isles, Lost Horizons, our friends from Hanya, Liance and Mean Sun. Also Squid, Dog in the Snow, Holiday Ghosts and Thyla, to name only a few.”

Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?

“Just Mustard, Helana Deland and Hanya. Hanya are Brighton-based too and recently became a four-piece. Live they have a cool dreamy, but edgy sound and Heather’s voice is absolutely stunning. The other bands are also amazing, just check them out.”

And finally, what does the future hold for CIEL?

“We are preparing for the release of our upcoming EP that will come out early 2020. We are entirely stoked about it! One of the things we will be doing is filming the video for our first single. We are also supporting our friends from Penelope Isles at Chalk on the 11th of December, we are massively looking forward to that show!”

CIEL will play Hidden Herd Presents at The Finsbury on Friday 6th December alongside L.A. Peach, Social Contract and Hourglvss. Free tickets are available via DICE and Eventbrite.