The Stranger.
C'est la Mort: surging, sweetly haunting rock à la the Church and Comsat Angels

The Big Takeover:
This Seattle shoegaze/dream pop/darkwave quartet makes its full-length debut with Empty Words. Bassist Kim House and guitarist Jim Biggs share vocal duties; her high, airy voice and his Ian Curtisian style are nicely complementary. Familiar attributes are in place: plangent bass timbre occasionally in a higher, melodic range; shimmering, effects-laden wall o' guitar; busily propulsive yet relatively unobtrusive drumming; mildly Gothy lyrics oozing dark angst – it's easy to imagine, while listening, that it's still the '80s.

Three Imaginary Girls:
To be concise, Empty Words Fill Lonely Spaces by Seattle’s C’est la Mort is a masterful record [...] a sonic concoction full of ethereal beauty and urban angst. Their style instantly evokes the classic 4AD sound combined with a not-so-subtle adoration of The Chameleons. This said, the vocals are much the opposite and provide the listener with a unique experience: singer Kim House’s voice falls somewhere in the realm between Miki Berenyi (Lush) and Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins).

Full review:

Seattle Weekly:
Where has this band been all my shoegaze-loving life? Their online bio, which features drop-down choices in a Mad-lib style, isn't much help: 'C'est La Mort was founded in [1983/1979/2003 or so/prison] after [seeing the sex pistols in Manchester/hooking up via the now pitiful Friendster], when all the members discovered a shared love of [ethereal post-goth/shoes/Jacques Brel] and [chorus pedals/delay pedals/flanger pedals/chorus, delay, and flanger pedals/midori sours]. Wait, actually, that kind of explains everything. 2005's Strength In Numbers carried off its Cure-and-Cocteau basslines and vocals brilliantly, and I look forward to hearing much more from this four piece. Despite their name, they convey a joie de vivre.

Coast is Clear:
"Ein Album, das «Empty words fill lonely spaces» heißt, muss eigentlich interessant sein – und eher der dunklen Seite des kreativen Schaffens zugetan. Genauso verhält es sich auch mit dem Debüt-Werk der Band C’est La Mort aus Seattle, die ich 2007 schon mal vorstellte und die mich neulich mit ihrem ersten Album beglückten. Zehn Songs, allesamt zwischen Wave und Shoegaze pendelnd, sehr atmosphärisch, mit (meist) schwebendem weiblichem Gesang – kein Wunder, dass Vergleiche zu 4AD-Bands wie den Cocteau Twins gezogen werden. So kann man den ersten Sonnenstrahlen bestens trotzen! Denn melancholische Stunden werden mit diesen Klängen versüßt und veredelt."

Die Band nennt sich C’est La Mort. Es ist der Tod. Was? Die Band mag The Comsat Angels und The Sound (mit Adrian Borland und nicht diese schwedische, blondierte Albernheit), klingen mitunter nach The Chameleons und Wire und stammen aus Seattle, USA. Das sind ja herrliche Voraussetzungen... Die zehn Songs auf dem Debütalbum “Empty Words Fill Lonely Spaces” (2010), das sind musikalische (Alb)traumlandschaften aus einer fein gesponnenen Mischung aus Post-Punk, Shoegaze, Dream-Pop und Dark-Wave. Wir hören einen pluckernden Rickenbacker Bass der die Songs nach vorne treibt, Gitarrenwände, Schicht auf Schicht und verhallten, in Watte gebetteten dahinschwebendem Sirenengesang, der an den Nightmare-Pop von Cocteau Twins oder Esben And The Witch erinnert. Voila!

Weekly Volcano (Olympia/Tacoma):
C'est la Mort's haunting melodies simply remain beautiful for their darkness. It's a shade that needs to be nurtured as much as any.

Leicester Bangs:
C’est la Mort – Empty Words Fill Lonely Spaces (Dismal Nitch)
"They’re a four-piece from Seattle; so don’t get fooled by the name. On their MySpace page C’est la Mort have attracted some interesting musical friends, and amongst these are The Sound, The Comsat Angels, The March Violets, Wire, The Sun And The Moon and The Chameleons. Not amongst their friends (as far as I could tell) but definitely amongst their influences we can add The Church, Slowdive, Blonde Redhead, Chapterhouse, Cocteau Twins and Ride. We’ve hit shoegazing paydirt here, with some very nice twists in the mix to give the whole thing an occasional rockier edge. The fey vocals of Kim House have a mesmerizing quality that befits the overall sound, and, again, as far as I could tell, the words are all hers too (the digipak tells us very little). In style, she is akin to Lush’s Miki Berenyi, and if you can imagine a group fronted by her, with the other three members coming from any of the bands above, you might just have it. Well, at least you’ll be close.

"The penultimate track, “Final Call”, has the only male lead vocal on the whole album, and if you can imagine Bernard Sumner and Adrian Borland rolled into one, then that nails that voice; and it ain’t half bad, either.

"We are treated to ten tracks, ranging from shoegaze adoration to, well, shoegaze rock. If you suspect you wouldn’t like this music you’re probably right, but there are enough of us out there to do the liking for you. I, for one, am grateful for these ‘dead’ souls."

Kev A.

We're featured in Mick Mercer's new goth directory, Music to Die for with a nice write up and big picture. You can order it from,, and directly from the author and publisher.

We have a full-length interview in the new issue of Crawling Tunes Magazine (Germany), which Kim and Geoff actually conducted in German! An exclusive version of "Among the Ruins" is available on a limited-edition companion CD/DVD. You can order them here. We also have a few copies available at our live shows.

NW Source People's Picks (Best Unsigned Band):
""C'est La Mort is breathtaking. This luscious four-piece has otherworldly female harmonies that float far past the stratosphere. "Ashes, Ashes" has Cure bass lines and closes with a spacy interplay between one voice singing, "Is your love for real?" while the other voice breathes, "It's a long fall down." This song will make you numb! It's so spooky your spine will lose feeling. "Collapse" also utilizes this dreamy equation with ethereal beauty, and I don't use the word 'ethereal' very often." -- Paul

"C'est la Mort. This is by far my favorite band on the whole compilation and I'm looking forward to hearing more from them. The instrumentals are nice, but nothing that jumped out at me, but the vocal mixes were great and I would've been happy with a toy drum machine in the background." -- Julia.

Coast is Clear:
"C'est La Mort - Tödlich gut
"Bei einem meiner Streifzüge durch die Blogwelt stieß ich vor einiger Zeit auf eine amerikanische Band aus Seattle, die in einem Posting über Shoegazebands erwähnt wurde - C'est La Mort. Interessanter Name, dachte ich so bei mir, da höre ich doch mal rein. Mein Gespür trog mich nicht, denn diese Band spielt reinen Shoegaze mit höchstens 50% Wave- und Post-Punk-Beimischung, und das in ausgesprochen überzeugender und atmosphärischer Manier! 2005 erschienen erste Songs auf der Compilation «Strength in numbers» (nicht zu verwechseln mit dem gleichnamigen Calla-Album!) und derzeit wird an neuem Material gearbeitet."

Mars Needs Guitars:
"Shoegazer Fetish
"C'est La Mort are from Seattle and have all the right elements in place for "traditional" shoegaze - swirling guitars and hypnotic female vocals. Definitely from the school of Cocteau Twins (to name one) and that is all right by me."

Are You Familiar:
"So the AYF? Shoegaze Retrospective still isn't finished. One day. One day. Until then, check out C'est La Mort. These guys and girls manage to reference Cocteau Twins and The Chameleons in the most direct of ways without sounding like a poor rip-off of either. That's tough to do, and has earned them that rare distinction of being a worthwhile modern shoegaze band. As if they could be anything else with a name like that."

Milk Milk Lemonade:
"C'est La Mort are yet another example of one of the more recent talents in the revived Seattle music scene. This is really nice and dreamy. It's not too difficult to hear plenty of Cocteau Twins influence here."