Ophelia’s Eden, aka Ciara Gayer, routinely cranks out YouTube videos and shorts from the seat of a sumptuous-looking desk chair in her basement. Her studio is bathed in a permanent, purple glow that would give Prince vertigo, and the content produced within shows Ophelia’s Eden to be a musician’s musician. Blessed with a brassy set of jazz pipes somewhere between Erykah Badu and Lou Rhodes, she woodshops melodies, dispenses home-recording advice, and reveals synthesiser hacks.
Each of the three singles she’s released so far are somewhat moody and centred on her vocal chops, as would be expected. But occasionally popping up between the DIY and how-to clips is a TikTok flair for POV jokes, outfit reveals, and cheeky cover songs. It’s this person who has released “Love Trip.”
“’Love Trip’ was inspired by a psychedelic journey with my boyfriend on New Year’s Eve,” she explains. “I spent the next day cosied up in the studio and came out with this banger.” Whether “banger” is meant as a double-entendre would be the only thing hidden about the track: while it may take its time to work up the nerve to be so open and vulnerable, its eventual infectiousness proves irrepressible. In less than a minute, the woo-hoo’s break loose and the bass-register synth chimes shake like bedposts.
Its deliberate pacing and structure pay tribute to the experience she has gained by studying the likes of Quincy Jones and even George Gershwin. In describing it she notes, “’Love Trip’ starts with a deep bass that envelopes throughout the song as the orchestral instruments build and shine after the bridge: this emulates a feeling of openness and feeling the warmth of the world.”
Lyrically, she doesn’t overburden “Love Trip” with cliches, but focuses the words around wonderment and exhilaration. Though the chord pattern and pacing seem to point toward an exploding chorus like Katy Perry’s “Roar,” it instead submerges itself into a bridge section that reemerges already in a state of bliss: no need for tension here, only euphoria.
As a forerunner for her full-length debut, Boundary Road, “Love Trip” alludes to the sort of range that many young and serious artists are reluctant to express. Focusing solely on one’s most recognisable strengths can lead to less-dynamic self-examinations.
“My upcoming album is a reflection of the journey I am currently on, travelling and living in my camper-van,” says Ophelia’s Eden, “but also a journey of our own minds: exploring mental health and freeing ourselves from beliefs that incarcerate our flow; inspired by the divine feminine; sacred, sensual, creating, and healing.”