Solomon Grey ← Back to the portfolio
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- Roster 2011/2012
ONLINE HIGHLIGHTS (Since late October 2012)
Video featured on the front page of YouTube Australia
Featured on Les Inrocks (France) – online and in print
This Is Fake DIY Discovery of the Week
Featured on Le Figaro (France)
Charting on Hype Machine
Charting on Amazing Radio
A Playlist on Amazing Radio
“Elegant and structured” Le Figaro
“Here’s what is called a splash “ Les Inrocks
“Finessed to the nth degree.” Bitzlr
“Oh my! Instant obsession” Electro Queer
“An incendiary début” Dots and Dashes
“You can guarantee everyone is going be hearing about Solomon Grey” Loudat
“will probably dominate your headphones for the foreseeable future” All Things Go
“On this evidence they’ll be following Twin Shadow onto the Radio 1 playlist.” Music Like Dirt
“One of the slickest videos we’ve seen.” Supajam
“Their shot just hit the bullseye first time.” The Recommender
“Right at the top of the game.” Track of the Day – God Is In The TV
“One of the most exciting new projects we’ve come across in recent months” This Is Fake DIY
Firechild is the debut track from Solomon Grey, a self-release available as a free download via Soundcloud
For fans of: TV on the Radio/ Twin Shadow
Location: London/ Australia
Solomon Grey’s debut track Firechild sees them emerge as a brand new, yet fully-formed presence. Digging a little deeper, it becomes rapidly obvious as to how their debut has come to be so impressive. Unlike many acts who put themselves into the public arena at their very inception, Solomon Grey have taken their time in creating not only a handful of tracks, but an entire immaculately-constructed debut album. Demonstrating that good things indeed do come to those who wait, Solomon Grey have worked on the project for over three years behind closed doors, and have produced something excellent, in spite of the odds being heavily stacked against them.
Firechild is also accompanied by a video which is going to struggle to go unnoticed, namely as it’s probably the slickest debut we’ve ever seen from a new band. In order to make the stunning video happen, SG enlisted a crew of 22 friends and friends of friends, all professionals in their field and all working entirely without charge; a truly impressive feat. The video was directed by Henry Scholfield and produced by Alex Halley and it beautifully realises the duo’s sophisticated aesthetic in a visual form.
Solomon Grey is comprised of Tom Kingston and Joe Wilson who met in Joe’s home town of Oxford whilst Tom was studying at university there. They were both involved in local bands and pre-SG, wrote experimental electronic music, drum and bass and hip hop together. Post-university they both moved to London and set up their writing base in the now-defunct Jamestown complex in Whitechapel. In early 2009, just as the studio announced it was to close down, they finally began the project that was to evolve into Solomon Grey. Kingston told us of the breakthrough moment: “we’d spent our entire lives trying to find music we were comfortable with, which expressed who we were. With Solomon Grey, Joe and I finally felt we’d found it.”
In late 2009 SG were given the opportunity to put some serious time into writing when a family member who’d lived in a lighthouse in Cork, Ireland moved to America. Kingston and Wilson realised that the lighthouse would provide the perfect location to spend some time outside of their regular lives and society in general, in order to focus on writing music. So they packed up their studio, Wilson gave up his houseboat, leaving him nowhere to return to and they set out for the tidal island, which would ordinarily be deserted during the winter months. It would prove to be an isolating but musically inspiring experience. Wilson told us of the idyllic setting and the building itself which had windows all the way around it, “the water would crash and hit it, and the corresponding lighthouse across the bay would send out beams which shone through the building to form a constant rhythm.”
Whilst in Ireland, Kingston received news of a change in personal circumstances, which meant that he would have to relocate to Australia to help take care of a family farm. For most people that would have meant the end of Solomon Grey, but in the words of Kingston “we started something in Ireland and in spite of the 12,000 mile gap, we couldn’t do anything but carry on”. Wilson, having already packed up his life in London, made the decision to go out with Kingston to the remote property, located four hours south-west of Sydney. So from one isolated extreme to the other, Kingston and Wilson moved their studio to the family home in Australia and balanced their time between making music and helping on the farm.
Inevitably, Wilson eventually had to head back to London. In a story with many twists and turns, at this time, a friend in advertising caught wind of the music and offered SG a lucrative sum to sync their music to a fast food giant’s campaign. Holding fast to their conviction not to be associated with the brand, they continued working with no financial backing, even though it meant that they’d have to carry on the project with a global commute in play. Although this situation made for a longer gestation period, by late 2012 the self-titled Solomon Grey debut was finally completed.
With Solomon Grey, Kingston and Wilson aimed to blur the lines between programming and live instrumentation, fusing both to form a more visceral hybrid of the two. They played all of the horns, trombone parts, guitars, piano, and percussion themselves, building on the skills of a session drummer friend as a foundation. They even persuaded some friends who were string players from the Sydney Opera House to lend their talents to the album. After putting over three years’ work into the project they decided to complete the circle and return to the UK, turning to the Grammy Award winning Dom Morley to act as mix engineer and entrusting the mastering to multi Grammy nominee Mandy Parnell.
Never ones to let a bit of distance come between them, Solomon Grey have plans to play live in 2013 and are already designing an audio/ visual experience for the live shows.
For more information on and enquiries about Solomon Grey please contact firstname.lastname@example.org