A black and white photogaphy of Robin Foster, standing a beach in what happens to be a cold winter morning

Photo by Emmanuel Boitier

Robin Foster's Biography

British composer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Robin Foster creates intensely brooding soundscapes suffused with an intangible but undeniable tension, packed with lush cinematic textures electronic loops and airy synths, all underpinned by a signature guitar sound.

Foster’s compositions ebb and flow from the lightest touch to poignant intensity, evoking echoes of Talk Talk, Radiohead, New Order and even The Smiths, overlaid with cinematic influences such as Michael Mann, David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock and post-rock film-score composers Ennio Morricone, Vangelis or John Barry.

After arriving in France in 1997, Robin Foster joined the French band Beth (later named Moneypenny), recording several EPs and an album in 2000, supporting high-profile artists including Yann Tiersen, Dionysos, The Delgados, Kat Onoma, The Kills and Placebo as well as live, music-festival performances with Massive Attack and Death In Vegas.

Foster started his solo career in 2006, releasing his debut album Life Is Elsewhere in 2008. This largely instrumental album was praised by critics as well as the public, winning the Grand Prix du Disque du Télégramme as Best Debut Album as well as the Prix Coup de Coeur for the Grand Prix du Disque Produit en Bretagne.

One track was selected by luxury brand Hugo Boss to use in their global campaign for Boss Bottled fragrance, the first of many commercial collaborations. Often described as cinematic post-rock, Foster’s evocative compositions provide an ideal soundscape for TV shows and advertisements, leading him to work with blue-chip companies and prestigious brands such as Cartier, Kenneth Cole, Barclays, TF1, Canal Plus, France 3, M6 and the BBC.

Foster's second album Where Do We Go From Here? (2011) featured guest vocalist Ndidi O and marked the start of his ongoing collaboration with Dave Pen, British singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of the group Archive. Their friendship led to Robin touring regularly to support Archive throughout Germany, Belgium and France and they later formed the duo We Are Bodies, whose debut album (2015) was mastered at Abbey Road, with a second due for release in 2024.

Foster’s atmospheric soundtracks are unmistakably inspired by his home in the remote Crozon Peninsula of northwest France. This is particularly true of his intimate and personal trilogy, PenInsular, originally intended as a local project but, due to demand, the first album was released internationally in 2013. On the same day, Foster’s first soundtrack appeared, created for Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila, winner of that year’s Sundance Film Festival. This soundtrack received critical appraisal and earned him a nomination at the prestigious World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent.

After composing the film score for Farid Bentoumi’s Good Luck Algeria (2015) Foster was asked to score Sean Ellis’ World War II film Anthropoid (2016) starring Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan. Critics unanimously praised the film and its haunting soundtrack, shortlisting Foster for the Oscars and nominating him at the Czech Lion Awards for accomplishments in film-making. Also in 2016, the BBC’s dark comedy series Stag featured Foster’s title track from PenInsular, marking the start of his collaborations with British director Jim Field Smith.

Foster’s fourth album Empyrean (2017) was mainly instrumental, with guest vocals from Ndidi O and Pamela Hute. The opening track Hercules Climbs The White Mountain underpinned Foster’s next feature-film soundtrack, Emma Forrest's Untogether, featuring Jamie Dornan and Billy Crystal.

Foster went on to contribute two tracks to Angelina Jolie’s highly acclaimed film First They Killed My Father, score the soundtrack to The Proposal for luxury brand Cartier, and write the score for American Dream, the debut film from Janusz Kaminski (cinematographer to Steven Spielberg).

The following year, 2018, Foster released the second volume of the PenInsular trilogy, entitled PenInsular II (The Bridge). Encapsulating the ten villages of the Crozon Peninsula, each named in the traditional Breton language, the album showcased guest vocals from longtime collaborator Dave Pen as well as Breton singer Madelyn Ann, winning the Grand Prix du Disque du Télégramme.

In 2019, after headlining the Festival Du Bout Du Monde, Robin Foster started the soundtrack for Criminal, an ambitious Netflix original series written by George Kay and directed by Jim Field Smith, previously nominated for a BAFTA, Emmy and Golden-Globe. Filmed in four unique versions (UK, France, Germany and Spain) on the same closed set, each episode featured a guest actor as the suspect, including David Tennant, Hailey Atwell, Kit Harrington, Sharon Hogan and Nathalie Baye.

Early in 2020, Netflix commissioned a second series for which Foster provided the score, then immediately continued his partnership with Jim Field Smith by providing the soundtrack to Amazon Prime Studios’ supernatural horror-comedy Truth Seekers with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Malcom Macdowell and Emma D'Arcy. Foster’s soundtrack work continued in 2021 with Sean Ellis’ gothic horror The Cursed starring Boyd Holbrook and Kelly Riley.

Robin was able to use the lockdown and isolation to complete his PenInsular trilogy. Like the previous two volumes, the introspective PenInsular III (2022) was produced in Camaret, mixed by Jim Spencer at Eve Studios in Manchester and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road.

In 2023, Robin took on the mantle of producer for French artist Morgane Imbeaud, of French duo Cocoon. Foster produced and co-wrote the 11 tracks on Imbeaud's new album The Lake (2024) and recorded several instrumental parts. The album includes guest vocalists Chris Garneau and Lonny, and was again mixed by Jim Spencer and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road.

Robin Foster is currently working on his seventh studio album, and the second We Are Bodies album is due for release later this year.