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).
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.
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says:
This year is the 20th birthday of this prestigious band who, out of the fertile soils of UK jazz, hip-hop and electronica, have grown into a much-celebrated household name. What better crown to mark the end of their teens than ‘To Believe’. With another ambrosial list of vocal collaborations, its (notably) reduced number of tracks and a huge injection of neo-classical nuances, it aims its bow directly at the heart; a body of work that seems to exist and transmit out of a heavenly and divine realm. The band employ a beguiling tapestry of organic and electronic instruments, samples and improvisation throughout. There's a deliberate and considered higher consciousness to the entire album, like it's whispering into your ear late at night between the pillows. Sometimes like a snow-dusted fairytale with its highly cinematic string arrangements, at other's deeply introspective; it's the message that matters after everything else is removed, and on ‘I Believe’ we receive it with a fragile yet focussed intimacy.
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)