At Contact Towers, we're aware that there have been Kings of England, Kings of Comedy and even Kings of Convenience. But if ever there was a title bestowed for Kings of Chillout, it would certainly have gone to Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker, who, as Zero 7, took the laidback world by storm with their 2001 début album, 'Simple Things'.
A subtle blend of soul, funk and jazz, the pair of former studio tea boys had hit upon a formula which, combined with guest vocalists of the calibre of Sia Furler, made the album and its keynote moment 'Distractions' into the coffee table accessory du jour and resulted in a Mercury prize to boot. Blimey.
It's been mostly quiet, though, for the pair since their last original album, 2009's 'Yeah Ghost'; one that saw them in a much needed state of transition between their lounge roots and something more urgent and contemporary.
Continue reading: Zero 7 - Simple Science EP Review
A new Zero 7 single?? To be followed by an album?? Truly the sign in the music world that winter is over, spring is upon us and summer beckons. Great sigh of relief.
On 'Futures' we see Hardaker and Binns team up with melancholy, acoustic songstress, sorry, songwriter, Jose Gonzalez. Despite my scepticism, this is a very well matched collaboration, as Jose sounds asif he were made to work with these guys. With their easily recognisable Zero 7 sound, Sweet honey glazed textured, soaring synth tones and the soft caress of guitars, and Gonzalez's soothing vocals, it really couldn't possibly be anyone else.
If you like Zero 7, then you'll like this, but if you're expecting new and glorious pastures to be explored, then you may be a li'l disappointed.