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Cilie (Denmark) – Uden Dig (single)

We’ve had some unusual artist backgrounds recently; mainly academics moonlighting as musicians (pretty well, I should add) but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to encounter a power lifter. And a champion one at that. And she’s attached to an American Football team!

Is there something in the water in Denmark?

But that’s what Cilie (Simonsen) amounts to; all the above.

If you’re expecting a 200 kilo bench press of a song though, you’ll be disappointed. The strength of ‘Uden Dig’ lies in its tenderness.

It translates into ‘Without you’ but without the drama of the Badfinger/Harry Nilsson song because it concerns losing your best friend, who in this case was called Mathilde and the loss took place a decade ago. We don’t know how or why but we don’t need to, only that the grief is both palpable and unbearable. So it’s another day having to deal with being without her.

She says that for many years she has tried to put into words something for which there is no natural language but that she eventually found a way through music and poetry.

It is a sad story and one told empathetically and not depressingly, in fact it is more bright, bouncy and upbeat than you might envisage. She clearly welcomes the opportunity to share her feelings with others who may be in a similar situation.

Another unusual aspect here is that the song hangs almost exclusively on acoustic instrumentation -which is pretty rare these days when so many songs are written on laptops with an Ableton – a subtle combination of Spanish guitar (not quite flamenco but not that different either), and piano. There might be a tiny amount of electronic background in there at times but you won’t even notice it.

The tune is catchy but not enough to detract from the subject. No-one wants to be dancing to a song like this.

Her vocal surprised me. I don’t know if it’s because I was expecting someone who throws weights around to sound like Howard Keel or Lee Marvin but there is a surprising fragility to it all the same.

She can bench press me any day.

Fun fact:

Previously, Cilie has released tracks under the name ‘Cilay’ and helped write the song ‘She’s after my piano’, which won the Belgian Melodi Grand Prix (which picks the Eurovision song) in 2014.

Find her on:



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