Suburban Symphony formed in Barnoldswick, Lancashire in 2014. Giz and Tom had already enjoyed some success with their previous alt-rock outfit Bashphelt, who became the first unsigned act to make a televised appearance on the T4 show Pop World in 2006. Tony’s former band Pipeline gigged intensively around the UK and released an album on indie label Crushed Rock Records, and Lewis was one of the founding members of grunge rockers Stilts.
Beginning as a project between vocalist Tony and guitarist Giz, some of Suburban Symphony’s earliest material was created through a highly unconventional songwriting process. Tony would mentally compose songs without the use of any instruments during long days working as a plasterer. He would then turn up to band practice with the entire song mapped out in his head and sing it unaccompanied from start to finish. Giz would then figure out the chords and harmony that fit under the melody. This combination of Tony’s natural musical intuition and Giz’s arrangement skills gave rise to such songs as “Mr. Man”, “Stepping Stones” and “Travelling”. Realising the songs had great potential, they brought the rest of the members of the band on board and began an intense and prolific collaborative writing process. As Giz describes it: “We were writing songs for fun”.
Having crafted a great set of songs and honed them during a busy gigging schedule, Suburban Symphony entered Hilltown Studios in 2016 to record their debut album. Working with producer Mat Arnold (formerly the in-house engineer at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios), they expanded the scope and depth of the songs, and hired arranger Daniel Bath (Sentimentalists) to create string arrangements for a number of tracks. Mat formed Hilltown Records with Keiron Melling (The Fall) shortly after work on the album was complete, and Suburban Symphony signed to Hilltown Records in 2017.