Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
CL 2 George Bell

Celine Love tells a cautionary tale on steely soul-folk cut "Black Limousine"

07 March 2024, 12:00 | Written by Ims Taylor

On her first release of the year, Celine Love weaves traditional metaphors with modern, metropolitan storytelling.

London-based Celine Love draws on worldly influences beyond the industry hotbed she lives in on the lilting, lamenting “Black Limousine”. A devastating indictment of the internal challenges and politics of navigating the music industry, Love details becoming jaded, disenchanted by the mercenary ‘game,’ and slowly becoming more incensed as she realises she doesn’t have a choice not to play. “Black Limousine” draws on Love’s experiences studying in Berlin, as well as her roots in soul, RnB, and folk music. With the genres and styles she works with, Love has a ready arsenal for evocative storytelling, passion, and narrative, and she flexes it all as she carves out the events of “Black Limousine”.

In the first verse, she sings “I sold my soul to the highest bidder"; but by the second verse, Love has changed the lyric to “I sold a song to the highest bidder.” The first verse, image-heavy and poetic, is a gorgeous but desolate picture of disappointment and regretful deals over “money and power.” But by the second verse, we realise that the lament Love feels isn’t between two people, but about the music industry itself. Her initially soft vocal rises to a potent, spiralling peak over the acoustic instrumental, centering her magnetic performance and the impact of her words.

Explaining the origins behind “Black Limousine”, Love says “I wrote the song in my first year studying songwriting in Berlin. This year changed my entire perspective on the music industry and I saw it for the soul sucking business it can be. I was starry eyed and passionate and the more people from the industry I met, the more I realised I would have to work hard not to become a shell of my former self. I met songwriters, singers and managers who all talked about playing ‘the game’, as if it had nothing to do with their love for music. All anyone seemed to care about was success measured by numbers and high profile opportunities."

She continues, "The song opens with the line ‘I sold my soul to the highest bidder’, which is exactly what I’ve tried to avoid throughout my career so far. The song is a warning, it doesn't speak of experience, it’s predicting a future I hope never comes true. Although this song speaks directly about the music industry it's applicable to anyone who has experienced or feared becoming a version of themselves they didn't recognise. I’ve had many emotional moments performing it and people have come to me with various stories of what made them connect to the song.”

"Black Limousine" is out now. Find Celine Love on Instagram.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next