Tom HOBDEN & Eliot JAMES – composers

Tom Hobden and Eliot James are the composing partnership to watch. Currently scoring short film The Rabbit’s Foot for writer/director team Charlie Brafman and Magnus McCullagh, Tom and Eliot work quickly, thanks to their combined breadth of success as composers, writers and performers, and always deliver something more than expected.

They have fast made impressions in a musical genre occupied by the likes of Ólafur Arnalds and Max Richter and bring a freshness and sensibility in their sound that works seamlessly with the moving image.

For short drama thriller The Guest (Dir. Daniel Montanarini) Tom delivered a striking, minimalist score, building short piano motifs into a congruous yet unresolved finale, sensitive to the developing tension between actors Pip Torrens and Olivia Williams.

In 2017 they released orchestral album ROAM on UK label Village Green Recordings and were signed later that year by Nettwerk Music Group as Pêtr Aleksänder, a neo-classical band writing primarily for a piano quintet with electronic undertones.

Tom, of UK indie stalwarts Noah and the Whale, and Eliot James, an award-winning, multi-platinum selling songwriter and producer, have enjoyed longevity in the world of popular music not least because of their commercial know-how and unfailing professionalism but also, perhaps most importantly, their wholly amiable characters.

The pair first met in 2008, while working together on Noah and the Whale’s debut album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down, which Eliot produced. Noah and the Whale created short films to accompany their albums and collaborated on Tom Harper’s 2009 directorial debut The Scouting Book for Boys. Tom has arranged strings for many artists’ records, including Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons, and has been on tour with the latter since 2015.

Having learnt the trade with Paul Epworth recording an array of breakthrough indie bands in the early Noughties, Eliot has subsequently enjoyed an acclaimed production career, producing Bloc Party, Two Door Cinema Club, Kaiser Chiefs and Plan B. Signed to EMI publishing in 2010, his career has encompassed not only production work but songwriting too, having written with a similarly expansive range of artists including Plan B, Gabriella Cilmi and Eliza Doolittle. 

Tom originally trained as a classical violinist, having studied with Igor Petrushevski at the Royal Academy of Music and has played in bands since he was a teenager. He is a founding member of Noah and the Whale and signed to Mercury Records in 2008 releasing 4 critically acclaimed albums on Mercury, selling over a million albums.


Listen to Tom & Eliot’s album, Roam, here