'chamomile is 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. infused with field recordings of meaningful places-my favorite forest tree, windchimes my uncle gave me before he passed away, birds and a fountain from a tiny house my husband and i stayed at, los angeles city streets, the ocean close to where my childhood best friend lives, the flipping of journal pages, a meditation center at sunset, and a neighborhood park in a city i no longer call home-within these songs live my everyday beauty. the struggles. the places i go to find calm and gently sing melodies of strength.’
chamomile is the sophomore solo release of Los Angeles-based artist and producer marine eyes (Cynthia Bernard). Her soothing debut record, idyll was released on Stereoscenic Records in March 2021. Cynthia is also one half of the ambient duo, awakened souls alongside her husband James Bernard, and has collaborated with artists such as zakè, 36, From Overseas, Pepo Galán, and many others. She most recently curated the mental health benefit compilation for Past Inside The Present, Healing Together.
chamomile was written during the Summer and Fall of 2021 in her bedroom studio using electric guitars, bass, pedalboard, op-1, synthesizers, field recordings, and vocals.
released July 22, 2022
written, produced and performed by cynthia bernard
mixed at ambient mountain house by james bernard
assistant mixing by cynthia bernard
mastered by rafael anton irisarri
additional guitar on ‘what’s on the inside’ by city of dawn
cover art by cynthia bernard
©℗ Past Inside the Present
This is PITP-V010 | MMXXII
'chamomile' is filled with the sounds of nature and visions of the clouds and heavens above, chamomile is a totally absorbing listen, wrapping you up in its harmonious chordplay and transporting you to a calmer, sunnier, altogether nicer place.
The lush tones of secret garden hymnals become tangible, ethereal landscapes in Cynthia Bernard’s hands as marine eyes. The ten vignettes on chamomile don’t simply tell a story; they invite listeners to find their own narrative within these lilting arrangements. The empty space is nestled within the warm synths, expressive guitars, and magnetic field records. Somewhere we can immerse ourselves and find a hypnotic calm. [...] Bernard’s gift is this heavenly world. chamomile is a wonder.
[...] "An album I’ve been leaning on quite a bit lately is the gorgeous chamomile by marine eyes. chamomile is her debut release with label Past Inside The Present and it showcases her brilliance as an new age/ambient/drone composer. chamomile is slow motion bliss.
The ten songs on chamomile rise like sunset hues over calm water. “cocoon” gives me the feeling of sitting on the screened-in porch with a cup of coffee as the sun sleepily makes its entrance over the calm lake. The family still sleeping, there’s a sense of oneness that comes over me in that instance. “cocoon” captures the mystery and the ambivalence in that moment. It’s at once peaceful and melancholy. “magic familiar” has the heft of a walk on the beach, complete with the hum of stirring waters and sun-baked psychedelia. Voices in the distance that blend into a chorus of gauzy release.
Cynthia Bernard mixes voice in her music, giving the proceedings an almost angelic touch. Clouds parting, sunlight coming down like an escalator from the cosmos inviting you to ascend to a higher plane. On “what’s on the inside (featuring City of Dawn)” Bernard creates walls of glorious reverb-drenched vocals. This song has an incandescence to it; meaning escapes in the cavernous ebb and flow as if the song’s beating heart welcomes you into its sonic chambers. “suspended universe” goes into Cocteau Twins territory with almost pop sensibilities as her vocals sit front and center. Pure transcendence.
Cynthia Bernard, aka Marine Eyes, described the album as pieces of journal entries, and wanted these ten songs “to feel like new entries–distilled miniature worlds of my creative process and inner life.” I feel she has done that with Chamomile. You can feel the people and places that helped make this album a reality. The textures and voices in the music come out as living things. They invite you in, lovingly with wide open sonic arms."
-J. Hubner, Complex Distractions
"In many places, it’s shaped up to be a brutally hot summer. As temperatures creep to dangerously high levels, it can be tempting to turn towards darker ambient textures as a way to simulate being shaded and cool. Chamomile—the new album from Los Angeles producer Cynthia Bernard, aka marine eyes—is the rare, sunny electronic record that absolutely hits on a blistering afternoon. Centered on ambient’s usual instrumental fare (like field recordings and a Teenage Engineering OP-1), she also incorporated bass and guitar into her writing process. The completed project blends billowing synthscapes with more traditional vocal and string flourishes that are reminiscent of Liz Harris/Grouper, if her work wasn’t so deeply impacted by the foggy gloom of the Oregon coast. Expansive and emotive, these 10 gossamer tracks beg to score a solitary picnic in some fantastical patch of meadow."
-Ted Davis, Bandcamp Editorial, 'The Best Ambient on Bandcamp: August 2022'