The 26 year old singer/songwriter who grew up in Saltdean, has seen monumental success
since her debut single Daydreaming was released in 2016. Within 5 years Celeste has received the Rising Star BRIT Award, won BBCs Sound of The Year award and was the voice of 2020's John Lewis advert, with her song Give a Little Love, being the calming voice towards the end of one of the most challenging years. Now the singer, who is signed by Interscope and Polydor Records, has gifted us her debut album Not Your Muse, a month before its official release date.
Not Your Muse reached number 1 album in the UK charts within the first week of its release, the first time in 5 five years that a female British artist has achieved this! An incredible achievement yet I am not surprised; the first song I heard by Celeste was 'Strange', her raw unique voice immediately held my attention and her honest beautiful lyrics gave me goosebumps. Not Your Muse has delivered this and more, a masterpiece which climbs subtly across a variety of genres, delivering the story of being a proud strong woman, the beauty and woes of love, and staying true to oneself. The album begins with the soulful 'Ideal Woman', the delicate acoustic guitar and soft brushes on drums embodies the world of a smokey jazz bar in the 1930s. Celeste's relaxed, sometimes delayed delivery hints to her influences; Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, allowing space for the lyrics to breathe and be heard, often a rarity in modern music. 'Ideal Women' and 'Strange' (second track in the album) immediately reveal Celeste's accomplished lyric writing, honesty and relatability.
Then 'Tonight Tonight' comes on, the tempo picks up and you are now dancing in the jazz bar, revealing Celeste’s ability and wide variety, proving she won’t be put in one box. 'Tonight Tonight' shifts the album incorporating the jazz band with modern texture through subtle electronic sounds. This is one of my favourite songs on the album, as my flatmate can vouch for, the sustained strings and brass echo the longing evoked in the lyrics, this balanced with the simple but clever moving bass covers all frequencies brilliantly, whilst being propelled by a skippy drum beat creating a soulful masterpiece. 'Tonight Tonight' is a great transition in the album gliding smoothly into electronic RnB and more poppy sounds with 'Stop This Flame' emulating elements of Emeli Sande’s 'Next To Me' and 'You’ve Got The Love' by Florence and The Machine. 'Stop This Flame', which has over 30 million streams on Spotify, opens up the album to a wider audience whilst still managing to retain the jazz and soul core. The piano motif at the beginning pays homage to Celeste's love of 60s jazz and soul, in particular Otis Redding which was in fact the first record that Celeste bought, when she was just 4.
The rest of the album continues with artistic brilliance; every song stands alone, not blending into one another which is often a risk with an album, especially one with 12 songs. Structured harmoniously which keeps you begging for more, every song is captivating, in particular favourites of mine are: 'A Kiss', 'Beloved' and 'Not Your Muse'. Celeste who started gigging in Brighton when she was a teen explained to Annie Mac that she began producing on a Macbook using GarageBand when she was 18. Celeste's production skills, deep knowledge of music and love and respect for different genres is apparent; the album manages to blend RnB, electronica and jazz, no small feat and is done not only extremely well, but effortlessly.