Brighton, England-based duo Grasscut craft glitchy, sugary, ambient-steampunk confections that skillfully blur the line between the natural and synthetic worlds. Comprised of notable television and film composer Andrew Phillips and keyboardist/classically trained double bassist Marcus O'Dair, the pair draw inspiration from the likes of Kraftwerk, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Devo, and Robert Wyatt (who appeared as a guest vocalist on Grasscut's second studio album, 2012's Unearth). The band's penchant for juggling organic samples and circular melodies with pastoral imagery has drawn comparisons to everyone from Hot Chip and Boards of Canada to Eluvium and Max Richter. The duo's fourth album, 2021's Overwinter, contained more acoustic instrumentation and orchestral arrangements than their earlier releases, with lyrics intended to provide a sense of encouragement during bleak times.
Grasscut formed in 2008 and self-issued a five-song promo EP. After signing with acclaimed British independent label Ninja Tune in 2009, the band released their debut single, High Down. Their full-length studio debut, 1 Inch: ½ Mile, arrived in 2010 to favorable reviews. The duo remixed songs by Coldcut, Jaga Jazzist, and Bonobo, and their ambitious and atmospheric sophomore outing, Unearth, followed in 2012. Grasscut also issued a "Shadow Version" of the album containing alternate versions of its ten tracks. The pair moved to Lo Recordings and released their third set, Everyone Was a Bird, in 2015. A remix album with interpretations by artists like Mira Calix, Penguin Café, and Oliver Coates followed in 2016.
The duo spent the next few years on individual projects, with Phillips receiving several awards and nominations for his television and film scores, including a BAFTA for his work on the 2018 documentary Grenfell and an Emmy for his soundtrack to HBO's Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped in 2019. Grasscut returned in 2021 with Overwinter, inspired by winter walks around Brighton and conversations with the homeless. ~ James Christopher Monger & Paul Simpson