The path of Submotion Orchestra is definitely the one less traveled. Having formed like voltron in Leeds, UK in early 2009 after some of the band were involved in an Arts Council-related project to perform live dub step at York Minster, the seven-strong band from diverse musical backgrounds have been building themselves a dedicated following ever since.
With widespread critical acclaim plus praise from the likes of DJs Giles Peterson and Trevor Nelson along the way, their movement has gathered momentum. Their sound blends a unique collection of influences from various genre’s into a fresh sonic brew that defies classification.
“We’ve all been professional musicians for a long time, and between us we’ve played jazz, soul, reggae, grime, Latin, classical and many more styles of music,” says keyboardist Tod Mozi. “One of the things we’ve enjoyed the most about Submotion is being able to bring in these individual preferences in a way that adds to the overall sound. For us this helps to keep things fresh and hopefully slightly unpredictable and different.”
Their debut EP and album, both titled Finest Hour and released last year, showcased a band with a fine grasp on how to successfully blend tight songwriting and accomplished musicianship with experimental arrangements. The ethereal soulful vocals of lead singer Ruby Wood float effortlessly over the band’s sparse, sometimes dense and bass heavy grooves.
With album two on the horizon, Submotion are looking to strike while the iron is hot and expand their sound into new territories. According to Tod, “With the new record, there should be stuff that will satisfy fans of the first album, but hopefully some things that should surprise them too – it’s a lot more synth-heavy for one thing”.
The electro influence can be heard in their soon to be released new single, the catchy dance floor ready “Its Not Me, Its You” that’s already hit the BBC 1xtra airwaves and has the potential to reach a wider audience.
Submotion are currently signed to an independent label and are enjoying the benefits of creative control and artist development that may have alluded them if they had signed to a major label this early in their career. As with all bands, touring is a vital part of surviving and prospering in an industry where sales are at an all time low – something the band are all too aware of.
“Touring is bread and butter for us, and is essential in every way,” Tod states. “Fortunately, we all enjoy playing live and touring. We’ve been in Europe quite a bit over the last year, and as much as we’ve loved doing the UK summer festivals, there’s always something special about working on the continent”.
The band has been staying busy with numerous successful side-projects and consequently their individual and collective futures look bright. Their live show has been ringing bells from Croatia to Amsterdam, with a mini UK tour currently underway.