The Cinematic Orchestra have always defied category and convention. Neither an orchestra nor a band, not a pure jazz act but full of its influence, not electronic but originally rooted in a London based electronic scene. Musical trends come and go but TCO – now comprising of founder Jason Swinscoe and long-time collaborator Dominic Smith – have assuredly and defiantly stuck to their principles for over 20 years (their debut album, “Motion”, was released in September 1999). A refusal to compromise, to bend to classification, to follow convention.
They are set to release a new single ‘Wait For Now’, taken from their acclaimed latest album “To Believe”, featuring the vocals of soul singer Tawiah (who has worked with Mark Ronson, Wiley and Blood Orange), and recorded between Los Angeles and London. Also included on the release are two new remixes, a rework of “Wait For Now” by Ghostly signed LA Harp innovator and collaborator Mary Lattimore (Thurston Moore/Kurt Vile/Jarvis Cocker), and a remix of the album track “To Believe” featuring Moses Sumney on vocals by New York based producer Anthony Naples, riding high from his acclaimed latest album Fog FM. Rounding off the package is the album version of the lead single, ‘Wait For Now/Leave The World’, which also features the masterful keys work of Dorian Concept (Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune), adding extra texture to the track’s twinkling effervescence, and underscoring the far-flung connections which sit as the album’s foundation.
Tawiah (whose own debut album arrives on 18th October via First Word Records, an exploration of her identity as a queer woman of colour raised in a Pentecostal family) says of the track “For me it’s about freeing yourself, not letting fear dictate your life and living in the now. I also think this crazy journey called life that we are on is to be shared, we all mess up “guilt + pain has made me honest once again” confronting that and communicating will always make a peak situation not feel as overwhelming. It’s all about a safe space with people that vibrate on your frequency.”
Dominic Smith said of Tawiah’s feature, “The lyrics as with everybody (on To Believe), discuss concepts about engaging with consciousness. Tawiah took that concept into both a personal and universal place, which was the most we could have hoped for, it’s visceral, micro and macro.”
“To Believe” was released on 15th March 2019 on Ninja Tune to widespread acclaim, with The Observer lauding it as “a triumph” and “heartbreakingly brilliant” in their 5* review, it has received praise from the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, Q Magazine, GQ, Bandcamp and many more. The record debuted at #19 on the Official UK Album Chart and was #1 on the UK vinyl chart, with the band performing three mesmerising shows at London’s iconic Roundhouse as part of their UK & EU tour, inviting a host of guests across the three nights in support and most recently the BBC 6 Music Festival. They will be touring in North America this Autumn, bringing their spectacular, immersive live show there for the first time in over a decade. The extensive run includes shows at New York’s Brooklyn Steel and DC’s 9:30 Club, and will conclude with a very special performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on November 23rd. Photay, who has been supported by Gilles Peterson and released on Astro Nautico and PBDY, who is set to release his debut album on Brainfeeder, will be supporting on all dates. Patrick Watson, who famously collaborated with TCO on ‘To Build A Home’ will be a special guest in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
On “To Believe” they enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend, Dorian Concept and Tawiah. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson features on strings, Dennis Hamm on keys and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. A call for self examination, a more critical approach to political interaction and a need for empathy felt more and more relevant as divisions widened globally. “To Believe” is a meditation on our consciousness in this moment, a question, not an answer, an album that bucks the trend of making 3 minute tracks and try to give an alternative, something increasingly rare. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic.
Get it here: https://tco.lnk.to/waitfornow
The Cinematic Orchestra have shared a new live video for “Lessons” taken from their new album “To Believe”. Filmed by acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Brian “B+” Cross (Mochilla) whilst the band were in Joshua Tree, USA earlier this year.
B+ said of the video, “The desert has been an important reference for Jason and Dominic during the creation of this project. We took photos out there three years back in the beginning of the publicity for the campaign. It was wonderful to go back out to Joshua Tree and hear the music performed live by the full band. It was an honour to capture the energy in the room over six takes and then intercut it with some observational shots we created using a pretty sophisticated drone. Drone technology was created in Southern California and all the stark beauty it can capture underwritten by the military industrial narratives we live with here is present in the work. Thinking about these deeper themes is central to this new Cinematic project and it was a privilege to be part of these conversations.”
On the instrumental ‘Lessons’, a melodic, melancholic meditation is built around Luke Flowers’ drums, driving the track’s ebbs and flows of energy. Whilst the saxophonist is the ever present band member Tom Chant, who in many ways embodies the evolving symbiosis of the band: a friend-of-a-friend turned studio partner turned bedrock of the band’s live formation over two decades.
The Cinematic Orchestra (founded by Jason Swinscoe and now joined long-time collaborator and friend Dominic Smith), have always defied category and convention. Neither an orchestra nor a band, not a pure jazz act but full of its influence, not electronic but originally rooted in a London based electronic scene. Musical trends come and go but they have assuredly and defiantly stuck to their principles. A refusal to compromise, to bend to classification, to follow convention.
“To Believe” was released on 15th March on Ninja Tune to widespread acclaim
The Cinematic Orchestra release the second single ‘A Promise’ (premiered today via XLR8R) from their forthcoming album “To Believe” (out 15th March on Ninja Tune). If “To Believe” represents their most complete artist statement to date ‘A Promise’ is the apogee of their inimitable sound – intimacy without sentimentality, intensity without hyperbole, gravitas without self-importance. Long time collaborator Heidi Vogel’s lustrous voice graces plunging piano chords and shimmering electronics building into Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s swelling strings that hand off to drummer Luke Flowers’ pulsating drums in the sort of crescendo that distills the energy and emotion for which they are known.
On “To Believe” founding member Jason Swinscoe and longtime partner Dominic Smith have enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend (vocalist on Bonobo’s ‘First Fires’), Dorian Concept and Tawiah (Mark Ronson band, Kindness). Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Flying Lotus, Anderson .Paak, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote) features on strings, Dennis Hamm (Flying Lotus, Thundercat) on keys and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst (David Bowie, Frank Ocean, Adele) in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic™ (Aphex Twin).
“To Believe” explores a timeless question of vital importance in 2019 – what to believe? The question of belief is one that has long simmered in the minds of Swinscoe and Smith. This album is a meditation on belief, an attempt to examine the shaky foundations which underpin it, while also emphasising its importance to our lives. “The prerequisite of everything in life is belief both good and bad” Smith says. “So what should we believe in…or what can we believe in and also importantly why do we believe in something”.
Although this album marks a return to the studio, the band have also never really gone away, consistently performing to larger and larger audiences and selling out the likes of London’s Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Montreux and Sonar have all played host to the band’s much loved live performances. Beyond the obvious they have also appeared at the Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards for Stanley Kubrick and they curated a series of events at London’s prestigious Barbican Centre featuring commissions from the prodigiously talented Austin Peralta (RIP) and have seen the likes of Dorian Concept, Thundercat, Moses Sumney and Gilles Peterson support them on stage over the years. They scored Disney’s feature length nature documentary “The Crimson Wing” including the track ‘Arrival of the Birds’ which featured in the closing scene of the Oscar Winning Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything”. They also released a Late Night Tales compilation featuring music from Flying Lotus, Burial and Björk.
Since “Motion” (1999), The Cinematic Orchestra have sold hundreds of thousands of albums, generated almost half a billion streams and enjoyed critical support from the likes of Pitchfork (8.6 for second album “Every Day” which featured two collaborations with legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago singer Fontella Bass), The Guardian, New York Times, Le Monde, Resident Advisor, Fader, Mixmag, NME, Crack (whose Simple Things festival the band headlined in 2016), Rolling Stone, Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Jason Bentley, Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Lauren Laverne, KCRW and Mary Anne Hobbs. ‘To Build A Home’ has been synced to dozens of films and TV shows including the Orange Is The New Black finale and This Is Us and adverts including Burberry, Armani, Nike and Apple. The ‘To Build a Home’ short film was directed by Andrew Griffin and stars Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, Harry Potter).
In 2019 it is easy to see the band’s influence, jazz is all around us, London and LA have recently produced scenes more prolific than anyone expected; Kamasi Washington has been nominated for both Grammy and Brit Awards, Sons Of Kemet a Mercury Prize, BADBADNOTGOOD provide jazz soundtracks to high fashion shows and Kendrick Lamar has put the jazz palette at the top of the charts. When The Cinematic Orchestra released their critically acclaimed debut album “Motion” it helped pave the way for this moment, incorporating as it did an interpretation that had been lacking in the oeuvre and encouraging a new generation of musicians to break rules. “To Believe” doesn’t shy away from this ethos – its articulation of the band’s unique sonic language, encompassing not only jazz but the sort of transcendental orchestration combined with the elegant electronics of artists like Ólafur Arnalds and Floating Points, artists they have helped forge a path for, has never been more cohesive and compelling.
The Cinematic Orchestra are back with a definitive new album that explores a timeless question of vital importance in 2019 – what to believe? Founding member Jason Swinscoe and longtime partner Dominic Smith have enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend (vocalist on Bonobo’s ‘First Fires’), Dorian Concept and Tawiah(Mark Ronson, Kindness). Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Flying Lotus, Anderson Paak, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote) features on strings and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst (David Bowie, Frank Ocean, Adele) in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic™ (Aphex Twin).
The album announce is marked by the general release of new single ‘A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life’featuring Roots Manuva. The track, revealed via an innovative website only accessible on offline devices – a paradox illuminating the album’s core question of what to believe, was available initially on 12″ in independent record stores and sold out in a matter of hours. The artists first collaborated in 2002 on fan favourite ‘All Things to All Men’, 17 years later the partnership has lost none of its urgency and searing insight as Roots Manuva laments how our “situation is strange to us, stranger things are claiming us” over a pounding, hypnotic rhythm section that concedes to the choruses’ soaring strings.
The first leg of the “To Believe” tour begins in March and includes a three night residency at London’s iconic Roundhouse.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years since The Cinematic Orchestra released their last studio album, “Ma Fleur” in 2007. Did you achieve what you hoped to in the time since? 12 years from now will be 2031. What will you do before then? We are powerless to answer of course, mere passengers in our own existence, improvising as events deliver themselves into our lives, struggling with the question – what to believe? Births, deaths, success, failure. Money, drugs, temptation, rejection. Trump, Brexit, fear, hope. Art, relevance, pressure, belief. It’s this that accounts for the past 12 years for The Cinematic Orchestra, it’s this that characterises the process of recording the new album and it’s this that has been distilled into a work that is not only their best and most definitive to date but by asking these questions it’s also that which best reflects the great beauty in life.
“To Believe” Tracklist:
1. To Believe (feat. Moses Sumney)
2. A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life (feat. Roots Manuva)
4. Wait for Now/Leave The World (feat. Tawiah)
5. The Workers of Art
6. Zero One/This Fantasy (feat. Grey Reverend)
7. A Promise (feat. Heidi Vogel)
OUT 15 MARCH ON NINJA TUNE
Time to locate the hairs on the back of your neck – they will soon be standing to attention. The Cinematic Orchestra are back with the first single from their hugely anticipated forthcoming studio album and it’s everything you could hope for: an epic, heart-achingly sad, but beautiful and uplifting piece of music based on the simple idea that “the prerequisite of everything in life is belief”.
Original Cinematic Orchestra main-man Jason Swinscoe has now been joined on production duties by longtime friend and collaborator Dom Smith, and the result of this partnership is some of the most poised, ravishing music of this band’s stellar career.
On “To Believe”, Swinscoe and Smith collaborated with the much talked about LA based vocalist Moses Sumney, named one-to-watch by Pitchfork and the Fader, as well as artists including Beck, Sufjan Stevens, Solange and James Blake, and listening to his work with TCO, you can understand why. Building from simple acoustic guitar and voice to trademark TCO piano work and, eventually, full – and completely scintillating – strings, all held together by Sumney’s ghostly yet magnificent voice. It’s a piece that reaches back to the very roots of what The Cinematic Orchestra has always been while looking forward, drawing on new influences and production techniques to stay utterly contemporary. Moses Sumney will also join the band on their London dates to perform “To Believe”.
In celebration of this new single and previewing forthcoming material from next years studio album the band embark on a Europe wide tour (Dates below).
The Cinematic Orchestra were formed by Jason Swinscoe in 1999 and have become one of the most respected British acts of the last 17 years. Possessed of an emotional gravitas that transcends genre, they have sold out the Royal Albert Hall (twice) as well as the Sydney Opera House, and played countless international festivals the world over. Their famous track, “To Build A Home”, has been streamed well in excess of 60 million times and “Arrival of the Birds” closed out the end credits of the Oscar winning Stephen Hawking biopic, “Theory Of Everything”.
30 Oct – Rockhal, Luxembourg – LU
31 Oct – Les Docks, Lausanne – CH
1 Nov – Jazznojazz, Zurich – CH
3 Nov – The Sage, Gateshead – UK with Submotion Orchestra
4 Nov – O2 Academy, Glasgow – UK with Kathryn Joseph
5 Nov – Apollo, Manchester – UK with Submotion Orchestra & Mr Scruff
7 Nov – Colston Hall, Bristol – UK with Jameszoo
8 Nov – Rock City, Nottingham – UK with Submotion Orchestra
9 Nov – The Institute, Birmingham – UK with Submotion Orchestra
10 Nov – Eventim Apollo, London w/ Moses Sumney – UK with Thundercat & Gilles Peterson
11 Nov – Eventim Apollo, London w/ Moses Sumney – UK with Thundercat & Rival Consoles w/ Moses Sumney in band
12 Nov – άber Jazz Festival, Hamburg – DE
13 Nov – Schouwburg, Rotterdam – NL with Joep Beving
14 Nov – AB, Brussels – BE with Lefto