Symphony
by Clean Bandit (featuring Zara Larsson)

Album: What Is Love? (2017)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • The Clean Bandit trio link up with Swedish vocalist Zara Larsson for this follow-up to their hugely successful single "Rockabye." The foursome gave their first live performance of the song on The Voice UK on March 18, 2017.
  • A symphony is an extended musical composition, which literally translates as "sounding together." Larsson compares her relationship with her lover throughout the song to a symphony, in which their coming together produces a beautiful noise and "every melody is timeless."
  • The song's music video was directed by Clean Bandit members Grace Chatto and Jack Patterson. It features Larsson performing the song in a concert backed by the Bandits and a huge orchestra, while a tragic story of love and loss plays out in flashbacks. Grace Chatto explained:

    "For the video we wanted to create something beautiful and moving. We started by using the song's title as inspiration for the back story and location, which allowed us to fulfil a lifelong dream to perform at The Royal Festival Hall with a full orchestra. Actually, we played there in orchestras as teenagers but it is amazing to return with our own band and our own song!

    The video tells the tragic story of a conductor who loses his boyfriend in a bicycle crash. The conductor leads the symphony orchestra that we (Clean Bandit and Zara) are part of. Through music, he finds strength going through heartbreak and loss. We always direct and make our own music videos, but this is the first time we have attempted such a linear narrative."
  • While we are on the subject of symphonies, here are some, er, symphony-etic fun facts:

    Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, and Mahler all died before completing a tenth symphony.

    John Paine was a professor at Harvard University, occupying the first chair of music in a U.S. university. His In Spring, which debuted in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1848 was the first American symphony published in the United States.

    Amy Beach's Gaelic Symphony, premiered by the Boston Symphony in 1896, was the first such work by an American woman,

    Havergal Brian's Symphony No. 1, the "Gothic", requires over 800 musicians to perform, including 82 string players.

    The highest charting "Symphony"- titled track in the US was The Supremes' "I Hear a Symphony," which topped the Hot 100 in 1965. In the UK the honor goes to The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony," which peaked at #2 in 1997.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Strange MagneticsSong Writing

How Bing Crosby, Les Paul, a US Army Signal Corps Officer, and the Nazis helped shape rock and Roll.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Alan Merrill of The ArrowsSongwriter Interviews

In her days with The Runaways, Joan Jett saw The Arrows perform "I Love Rock And Roll," which Alan Merrill co-wrote - that story and much more from this glam rock pioneer.

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Al KooperSongwriter Interviews

Kooper produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, played with Dylan and the Stones, and formed BS&T.

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.