The heart-wrenching, nostalgia dripping, R&B festooned foundations found within Toronto-born Singer-Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist, Cindë's music shouldn't come as a surprise by now.
Her 2018 robust debut, "Hittin' It," locked in a distribution deal with SONY Music Canada, peaking charts and captivating hearts with her beefy hit from coast to coast.
Her next musical endeavors would be just as monumental. In 2019 she'd be called upon by the Morello Twins for a feature on their pop-hit, "Bipolar Hearts," seeing airplay on international radio, and raking up over three-hundred-thousand streams on Spotify alone.
Her latest single, "A Year Ago Today," feels just as colossal as her predecessor passion songs, but this one in particular, with all its heartbreak focused, reminiscence-driven lyrics, feels exceptionally outstanding.
In "A Year Ago Today," the Torontonian songstress spreads her cherubic wings over a plethora of vibey aural hallmarks with a waltz-like cadence, garnished by a succulent electric guitar, a deep-pocket groove, and a vocal performance that should be spoken about from ages to come.
It's a stratagem she's sharpened for years, gathering from the touchstones of her Hip-hop and R&B influences, and amalgamated together with meticulous care. In this single, it renders up like a kaleidoscopic display of emotional defoliation, with a bent for catharsis.
Over the verses, Cindë sings with a swaggering rhythm, working in tandem with her backbeat and low-drowning harmony, which paints the mix's hollows with an incandescent-hue, akin to the after-glow effect that comes after the song's first playback.
"A year ago today, I can't believe I said I'd wait for you," she sings, denouncing her judgments and easily dispensed trust, "I knew you weren't ready, it's funny how things changed for you."
She's broken up about her miskept relationship, and when the pre-chorus suddenly transitions with a healthy-uttered "fuck," it's almost impossible to not succumb to the same sentiments she's diffusing, giving into the sucking-swell that the chorus implants within your soul. Here, Cindë sounds her strongest, both emotionally and in her vocal performance.
She resounds with a devastating rumble in the back of her throat, and as a multifarious array of strings, thunderous adlibs, and scintillating guitars erupt along-side her. Cindë decries over her hook one last time, slowly rebuilding her inner-workings at the same time, with all the painstaking load of her sullen broken-heart attached: "I'm still tryna fight you, (I don't wanna fight no more), I still can't deny you, (I still can't), a year ago today."
If there's one thing that's certain about Cindë's "A Year Ago Today," it's that she's found her perfect sonic aesthetic, doubling-down on her more profound emotions like a seasoned songwriter; it's bid at winning over listeners' hearts and spirits, and with just three years since her debut, she sounds more potent than ever.
Can you run us through how the production process behind "A Year Ago Today" occurred? What came first, a melody, the lyric structure, or maybe some noodling on your guitar?
To be honest, I wanted to cancel the writing session because I was sad as shit haha. (obviously SUPER glad I didn’t)! Kirstyn Johnson and Bryn McCutcheon (co-writers on "A Year Ago Today" and all-around wonderful women) had asked me what I wanted to write about. All I said was “I can’t even pay attention to anything because all my brain cares about is that a year ago today was fucking terrible.”
So we used that, and I told my story out loud. It truly wrote itself. The lyrics were always meant to be the main focus so we wanted the instruments to feel simple and soulful during the verses. Mike Tompa’s production did a phenomenal job embodying that. My 6/8 guitar riff and his string section decorate depression quite nicely if you ask me. What were the primary emotions you found yourself channeling into for the vocal performance you've captured for "A Year Ago Today"? Is this an emotion you seldom find yourself focusing on when composing, or is it more common-place than usual lately?
For the first time, instead of avoiding it, I just let myself feel absolutely everything, keywords being ‘let myself.’ I had written hundreds of songs over many years about loving every part of this person but I never really allowed myself to let out how much pain that 'grey area’ type of friendship can cause. Lately, more than ever, I’ve been focusing on the bitter truth in my writing. I feel like I’ve waited too long to be the truest version of myself and she’s awesome. Do you ever feel any vulnerability about releasing a song like "A Year Ago Today," which opens up your personal distress to listeners? Why or why not? And how do you usually cope with that feeling?
The first week of release had me anxious as hell! Love makes you do some irrational shit but I needed to put this song out to take control of that feeling; heal it, and let go.
It worked, and if it made someone else feel something - that’s a bonus! I’ve never really had to cope with it until now, this is the first time I’ve released a song this personal. The positive feedback and genuine love from people all over the world make it all worthwhile though. If you could give your listeners a few words that would act as the prologue to the experience you intended behind "A Year Ago Today," what would you feel the need to say and why?
MIXED SIGNALS ARE A ROMANTICIZED ‘NO’. DON’T FALL FOR IT. (Lol) 2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. What has been keeping you inspired to keep creating? What can we expect to see from you as we enter 2021?
Challenging but needed. I got the chance to be at home and create my own environment and authentic happiness from the inside out. It gave me the ability to see how capable I’ve always been on my own and the power to truly change my life. I have so much new music ready for the new year! Tons of songs about things people are too afraid to say out loud. Let's just hope we’re allowed to start a mosh pit by then!