Robbie Robertson Returns with New Album 'Sinematic'

Hear the first single "I Hear You Paint Houses" with Van Morrison

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Jul 25, 2019

Robbie Robertson is returning with his first new studio album since 2011. Titled Sinematic, the upcoming full-length will arrive on September 20 via UMe/Universal Music Canada. Right now, though, you can hear the album's newly shared song "I Hear You Paint Houses" featuring Van Morrison.

The album is the Band legend's first since 2011's introspective How to Become Clairvoyant and is "inspired by his decades of creating and composing music for film and filled with an enthralling set of songs exploring the darker corridors of human nature," according to a press release.

As previously reported, Robertson and the Band are the focus of the new documentary film Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, which will open the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will make its world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on September 5.

It's no coincidence then that Robertson's Sinematic is heavily inspired by his work in film.

A press release explains:

For his new album, Robertson drew inspiration from his recent film score writing and recording for director Martin Scorsese's eagerly anticipated organized crime epic The Irishman, as well as the forthcoming feature documentary film, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, based on his 2016 New York Times bestselling memoir Testimony.

For a glimpse of what's in store, you can now hear the Sinematic opening track "I Hear You Paint Houses," which features Van Morrison, below.

The PR says of the track:

Drawn from Scorsese's film and the book it's based on, Charles Brandt's I Heard You Paint Houses about confessed hit man Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, the song is a riveting duet with Van Morrison that features bright guitar and a blithe tone that belies its chilling lyrics. Mob code for hiring a hit man, painting houses refers to spattering walls with blood. Opening with Robertson's devilish invitation, "Shall we take a little spin / To the dark side of town?," the opening track sets the album's stage for more gripping tales of villainy and vice and powerful stories about destruction and despair.

In a statement, Robertson himself explained: "I was working on music for The Irishman and working on the documentary, and these things were bleeding into each other. I could see a path. Ideas for songs about haunting and violent and beautiful things were swirling together like a movie. You follow that sound and it all starts to take shape right in front of your ears. At some point, I started referring to it as 'Peckinpah Rock' [a nod to late Westerns filmmaker Sam Peckinpah]."

Hear "I Hear You Paint Houses" below.

Sinematic will arrive on CD, digitally and as 180-gram 2-LP vinyl set. A deluxe edition will also arrive on October 25, packaging Sinematic both the CD version and 2-LP vinyl edition with a 36-page hardcover book featuring custom artwork Robertson has created for each of the album's 13 tracks. The deluxe edition is limited to 1,000 copies.

You can now pre-order Sinematic.


1. I Hear You Paint Houses
2. Once Were Brothers
3. Dead End Kid
4. Hardwired
5. Walk In Beauty Way
6. Let Love Reign
7. Shanghai Blues
8. Wandering Souls
9. Street Serenade
10. The Shadow
11. Beautiful Madness
12. Praying For Rain
13. Remembrance

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