"Music For Picture: Vol. I (Parallels)" out NOW: https://orcd.co/musicforpicture
London-based duo Tom Kingston and Joe Wilson are simultaneously lauded for their commercial releases and composition for TV and film. Working on both side-by-side, they combine contemporary production and classical composition to create a unique and distinctive sound.
Tastemaker labels Black Butter, Kitsuné and the illustrious Decca have helped push Solomon Grey’s commercial releases to the masses, whilst their work for picture across television, movies, trailers and commercials includes original soundtracks for BBC TV series The Casual Vacancy (adapted from the J.K. Rowling novel), The Last Post and Back To Life.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to create music for picture without compromising our sound as artists. We get to be in a band and also write for orchestras, arrange strings and work with opera singers. As musicians, we feel like we’ve come full circle,” says Tom.
Joe adds: “Creating soundtracks made us more experimental and aware of what we are capable of. The music we’ve always made has lots of elements that ‘shouldn’t’ go together.” With that in mind, while you’re listening you might hear the sounds of the car ‘The Weight’ was originally recorded in, spot the on-location recordings used in The Casual Vacancy score including rivers, lawnmowers and Morris dancers, and appreciate the juxtaposition of an operatic vocal over synth recordings on ‘The Drowning’.
Classically trained musicians and long-time friends from Oxford, Tom and Joe originally met as performers in a local covers band. The journey of Solomon Grey has seen the duo up sticks on more than one occasion, progressing from Oxford to London, finding and cementing their sound of the time with the first track they wrote ‘Last Century Man’. Musical bases took in the Australian outback and a lighthouse in the south west of Ireland, before returning to their current studio in South East London.
Solomon Grey’s debut release ‘Gen V’ via Black Butter Records in 2013 carved a path for a debut ‘pop’ album, but the serendipitous opportunity for score work gave them another outlet for their music. Next up was Decca-issued mini-album Selected Works, a mixture of original music and songs which featured parts of their score for The Casual Vacancy. Solomon Grey’s eponymous full-length debut followed in 2016.
Album two, Human Music (Mercury KX, 2018) is a poignant collection of intricate and transcendent songs, encompassing the themes of choice, love and loss following the death at Swiss clinic Dignitas of Joe’s mother Sandy. The album features the same luscious sounds provided by the 22-piece Hungarian orchestra and vintage CS-80 synth which feature on the soundtrack to the BBC/Amazon production The Last Post.
2019 was another abundant year for Solomon Grey’s sync and soundtrack work with the song ‘Home’ featuring in multiple hit US TV shows, and BBC/Showtime critically acclaimed series Back To Life - which topped end of year polls in Vogue, The Times, The Guardian, Digital Spy, TIME, USA Today and more - bolstered by their original soundtrack. “Carefully crafted soundtracks enhance the connections you make with the characters and overall emotive quality,” says Joe. “We’re delighted Back To Life has resonated with so many people across the UK & US.”
For 2020, Music For Picture: Vol. I (Parallels) EP serves as the first of a series of new works, written for & inspired by moving images. This first instalment showcases the duo’s more euphoric cinematic side, with featured track ‘The Return’ (composed for Sony PlayStation’s 2019 dystopian advert for PSVR), similar to 'The Rift' which has become synonymous with Vue Cinemas ident. Each volume in the Music For Picture series promises to explore a different part of Solomon Grey's sonic landscape, giving glimpses of the rich visual world their music evokes.
Solomon Grey’s tracks