In addition to being a prolific collaborator, most notably as one half of the ambient duo awakened souls alongside her husband James Bernard, and curating playlists and compilations such as Healing Together in support of mental health recovery, Cynthia Bernard has become a solo artist in her own right under the alias of marine eyes. Having laid down a marker with the sumptuously layered guitars & vocals idyll debuting last year on the Stereoscenic label, Cynthia follows up with a deeply personal musical diary of sorts called chamomile. Written during the summer and fall of last year in her bedroom studio, she uses electric guitars, bass, pedalboard, synthesizers, and vocals to survey a sonic landscape defined by its emotional touchstones – equanimity. awe. love. comfort. longing. compassion. creativity. grief. tranquility. heart-searching.
Having been a journal writer for over twenty years, my intention is for each of these songs to feel like new entries–distilled miniature worlds of my creative process and inner life...within these songs live my everyday beauty. the struggles. the places i go to find calm and gently sing melodies of strength.
Deepening the personal connection in the songs, Cynthia has incorporated field recordings taken in places with special meaning for her – things like a favorite forest tree, windchimes her uncle gave her before he passed away, birds and a fountain from a tiny house she stayed at with her husband, or the sounds of the ocean close to the home of her childhood best friend. The imprint of these memories and emotions resonates through the music to infuse with it with sincerity and heartfelt tenderness that cannot be denied. Like the herb that is its namesake, chamomile is a soothing balm for the soul.
Links: Bandcamp | Juno Records | Marine Eyes | Past Inside the Present
chamomile was released July 22, 2022 by Past Inside the Present in two vinyl LP editions. The album was mastered by Rafale Anton Irisarri and features cover art by Cynthia herself. While those initial cocoon white and sky nap blue editions are sold out, the label has issued a second pressing of the album on 160-gram vinyl each copy of which comes in a one-of-a-kind “mystery color” (see Bandcamp page for details!)