2001 was undoubtedly Zero 7 's year. They went from being name dropped in hip circles for their stunning remixes and two limited, critically acclaimed EPs to becoming a household name, whose debut album Simple Things became the must have CD of the summer, selling over 300,000 in the UK alone.
Three years later they are about to release their lush, powerful second album, When It Falls . It's a warm and absorbing work, which takes the orchestral elegance of their debut and rockets it into emotive new territory.
This album is also influenced by the band's extensive touring, which provided new experiences and an opportunity to try out new songs that would become the backbone of When It Falls . They took these tunes in their raw state to a house in Southern Spain , and turned them into gossamer-gorgeous songs and instrumentals, powered by hip hop soul, 70's jazz-funk and a perfectly pitched line in understatement.
The opener Warm Sound', featuring long time collaborator Mozez, comes across like Radiohead exposed to heady sunshine or crackly, distressed West Coast psychedelic soul. New vocalist Tina Dico appears on, among others, the sparse and darkly beautiful Home'. She's the only new girl: Sia Furler and Sophie Barker both reappear, the former adding smoked soul to the grainy folk-tinged Somersault' and Speed Dial No. 2', while Sophie's delicate, ethereal vocals grace In Time', a gorgeous stand-out pop moment and the luscious Passing By'.
Mozez takes flight on the beautiful, mildly deranged Over Our Heads' while Look Up' is up tempo, instrumental bliss. There's a darkness and a confidence in When It Falls which elevates it to the highest level of new generation British music.
To accompany the release of the album, Zero 7 take to the road once again in March.
The tour dates are as follows: