Daily Dose: Cecile Believe, “Last Thing He Said to Me in Person”

Music Features Cecile Believe
Daily Dose: Cecile Believe, “Last Thing He Said to Me in Person”

Daily Dose is your daily source for the song you absolutely, positively need to hear every day. Curated by the Paste Music Team.

Tuesday, electropop artist Cecile Believe announced her debut EP Made In Heaven. It is, by no means, Caila Thompson-Hannant’s first time recording a debut release. Formerly known as Mozart’s Sister, Thompson-Hannant was toying around with ideas made famous by the PC Music collective way back in 2011. She released two albums on career-making labels, 2014’s Being via Asthmatic Kitty and 2017’s Field of Love via Arbutus.

Despite her forward-thinking take on pop, Thompson-Hannant’s project never found the success and cult following that artists like Kero Kero Bonito and Hannah Diamond would find in the late 2010s. Undeniably talented and effusively prolific, Thompson-Hannant found her way into the embrace of Scottish producer Sophie, who was preparing to record her definitive debut album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides. Sophie was also preparing to come out as transgender to the public. Thompson-Hannant hopped on as backing vocals for Sophie’s “It’s Okay To Cry,” a gorgeous ‘80s prom-worthy song in the vein of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” that featured both Sophie’s physical image and Sophie’s real voice for the first time.

Thompson-Hannant later co-wrote several songs on Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, with her vocals featured solely on many tracks, including self-realization anthem “Immaterial,” and an ode to the gender-confirming power of Photoshop and digital spaces on “Faceshopping.” The album spurned much discussion of the realization of gender through recording technology, thanks in part to Thompson-Hannant’s crisp, emotive voice and excellent control.

Around this time, Thompson-Hannant changed her Twitter name from Mozart’s Sister to Cecile Believe, and recorded backing vocals on Kero Kero Bonito’s TOTEP. Sophie was able to reinvent herself and create new life on Oil—now Thompson-Hannant gets to do that, too.

Pulsing with a surging R&B 808s, “Last Thing He Said to Me in Person” overflows with Cecile Believe’s sonorous falsetto and an honest, epiphanic chorus: “Welcome to America / Thought you might be different / But you’re fucked up just like the rest of us.” It’s langourous, like a romantic and sweaty summer evening. It’s gentle, a reminder of life’s natural zest amid unbelievable turmoil, clear-eyed and staunch in its dedication to zealous positivity. Instead of blending genres, it seems largely unfettered by the pinnings of categorization. The composition of “Last Thing He Said to Me in Person” could be presented in no other way, creating truth from pushing sonic boundaries.

The video is a vignette of common occurrences and environmental shots, finding transcendence in casual moments, and features filmed moments of Sophie herself. It is heart-swellingly beautiful, a testament to Cecile Believe’s impeccable ability to set tone with her vocality. Hail to the believers, Thompson-Hannant says:

The video for “Last Thing He Said to Me in Person” moves with the song in emotion and energy, a collage of memories from early morning after-hours to nude swimming in the Mediterranean and a lover’s last glance, we are in transit between waves of happiness and melancholy that so often go together in life.

Made In Heaven is out on May 8. You can check out the video for “Last Thing He Said to Me in Person” below, as well as the single art and tracklist for Made In Heaven.

“Last Thing He Said to Me in Person” Single Art:

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Made In Heaven Tracklist:
1. Made In Heaven
2. Last Thing He Said to Me in Person
3. Living My Life Over
4. Yellowjacket
5. 7PM
6. 7PM (Accretion Disk Edit)
7. Dissociation
8. Pick Up The Phone
9. Already Come

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