Last week, when working on my post for the Nina Simone (1933-2003) cover of “Lilac Wine,” I found a list of other bands that had covered that song.
Among the other artists was the Cinematic Orchestra, and I wrote how I enjoyed their version of the piece. The band name stood out for me at the time, as I have their song “To Build a Home” in my digital collection, and one I quite like. It’s the only song I own by them, and the metadata on the file says I bought it from the iTunes Store on the morning of Tuesday, July 24, 2007. I have no clue where I first heard it but since I downloaded the song at that time of day, maybe I was on vacation, enjoying music.
The British group’s styles include Nu Jazz (also referred to as jazztronica, a fusion of jazz and electronic music), modern classical and downtempo electronic music. Having read about the group (and after hearing their lovely version of “Lilac Wine”), I plan to check out more of their music after all these years of knowing only one piece by them.
I was also interested to read today that the Canadian singer-songwriter Patrick Watson co-wrote “To Build a Home” with Cinematic Orchestra members Phil France and Jason Swinscoe. He also sang the vocal for the song on the band’s 2007 album, Ma Fleur. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember I posted the Watson song “Love Songs for Robots” last summer. I honestly didn’t recognize Watson’s voice until listening to both songs one after the other.
The song seems to be a man singing to his love about the home and life they shared and the future they planned together until she died. It’s a deeply sad love letter, which to me speaks to the immensity of the love shared. The strings and piano add much to the mood and beauty of the piece.
The song has been used extensively in TV, movies and advertising, so I imagine some readers will recognize it. Appearances include Homeland, Criminal Minds, Ugly Betty, The Big C, Orange Is the New Black, Suits, The Edge of Seventeen, Polytechnique, This Is Us, and many others. My sweety and I have seen many of the programs it has appeared on, and I’ve appreciated the dramatic mood it brings when used well. I’ve thought of posting it before and hesitated because of the topic of death and sorrow, but I feel it’s just such a poignant depiction of what true love means, during and after life together.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the video for the song from the Ninja Tune record label’s official YouTube channel. It’s not clear if this video was made specifically for the song or if it is an exceprt from TV/film. But if the latter, I think the user would have credited it…
And, the female actor in the piece looks familiar. Can anyone identify her?
Full, unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of AZLyrics.com.