That was worrying, back there: the piano keys were dabbed gently and Jason Swinscoe’s vocal arrived, angelic, offering a sweet melody. Oh no - it’s going to sound like Keane. The Cinematic Orchestra have lost the plot.
But that was about 20 seconds into this six-minute long, download-only single - the first taster from new album, Ma Fleur. Yes, this is sensitive stuff, but it’s saved from soppiness by its artistic vision: while strings start to swell up, crescendo-ing, ‘To Build A Home’ never fully takes flight. Instead, it toys with you, undulating up and down, devoid of percussion, light as an eddying breeze. The combination of dainty music and themes of love, loss and feeling safe at home could become twee and over sentimental, but Swinscoe’s turn of phrase and cracked, world-weary cry makes ‘To Build A Home’ reminiscent of Elbow’s ‘Scattered Black & Whites’ in tone, or some of Nick Drake’s more plaintive material, skirting the line between simple shite and simple genius, and fainting onto the right side.
As a sign of things to come from Ma Fleur, this is very promising indeed.
Stream 'To Build A Home' HERE
8Mike Haydock's Score