Written by Cilmi and Tom Fuller and produced by Eliot James (Two Door Cinema Club, Kaiser Chiefs, Noah and the Whale), “Sweeter In History” is a subtle and understated little ditty, filled with piano and some light percussion. Cilmi’s signature smokey voice soars over her own haunting background vocals and beautiful instrumentation. Musically-speaking, the soulful pop/rock gem is in the exact same vein as Cilmi’s previous teaser, “Vicious Love” not to mention much of her stunning, critically acclaimed debut album; 2008’s Lessons To Be Learned. In the equally chilling black & white music video, Cilmi flits and floats around a picturesque European village of some kind, gazing intensely at grave stones, walking along some old city winding road, all while tossing an occasional sultry glance at the camera or batting her long mascara-lined lashes. It’s an intense little visual that really shows us how much she’s grown as both a woman and an artist.
I’ve been a fan of Gabriella Cilmi since the release of her Xenomania (Girls Aloud, The Saturdays)-produced debut album which offered a nice mix of pop, soul, rock, and jazz (a bit uncharacteristic of Xenomania‘s usual sound, but still amazing). That, of course, was the album that featured her international breakout hit, “Sweet About Me,” as well as other favs “Save The Lies” and “Sanctuary,” which I mostly warmed to thanks to some impressive dance remixes. It was these remixes that got me excited for Cilmi’s sophomore records, the disco-pop-riddled Ten, which featured a more expected sounding Xenomania production, as well as some help from hitmakers like Greg Kurstin, The Invisible Men and Dallas Austin. The end result was a hot mess of an album of filler songs that yielded nary a hit – save for the album’s lead single “On A Mission,” which managed to go Top 10 in the UK and Top 20 in Cilmi’s native Australia. Two subsequent singles failed to chart at all in the UK and promotion came to a screeching halt. Turns out that while I love a good remix, I don’t like shit dance/pop songs. Who knew!?
With the upcoming release of “Sweeter In History,” I think it’s safe to say that Gabriella Cilmi is back. Download it for free on March 26th.