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Simple Things

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Editors’ Notes

Zero 7 revolves around the prodigious production skills of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker, a British duo who weave together an astonishing range of tones and textures on their 2001 debut, Simple Things. By mixing acoustic instruments (guitar, drums, bass) with layers of keyboards, strings, ambient sounds, and processed beats, they give this warm, lush album a dreamy, moody vibe that sustains interest instead of inducing sleep. The album’s continuity is further bolstered by traditional song structures and clear ideas, along with contributions from three different featured vocalists — Mozez, Sia Furler, and Sophie Barker — all of whom turn in inspired performances. Though the bulk of the album is instrumental, the three soulful singers make a strong impact on the recording, and the songs they sing on help tie the entire album together. For proof, check out the seamless way in which they move from the simmering soul of “Distractions” to the hypnotic chorus of “In the Waiting Line.” Cinematic and soothing, Simple Things stands as an enduring downbeat masterwork.

Customer Reviews

My New Favorite Chill

I can't remember how I stumbled upon this group, but my first encounter was with "In The Waiting Line". I thought this music would be great for YOGA, and I was tired of my YOGA teacher changing CD's throughout class, so I made a YOGA playlist and put a couple of these songs on. They were a big hit. My Yogi always asks me who is singing when any Zero 7 songs come on. They are great for chillin', and surprisingly for motivatin'. They are pervasive on several playlists, including one for snoozin' on airplanes. Check them out for sure! If you like Morcheeba, Sneakerpimps, even Moby, Coldplay, Dido, Jem, Portishead, Everything But the Girl, etc.....

Lie back, listen loud and lap it up. Truly amazing.

Often dumped into the Electronic category... don't be fooled. Think acoustic Bond Themes with orchestral soulful vocals on a somewhat electronic backbeat and it's still not categorisable. The first time I saw Zero 7 they were playing Live on Later with Jools Holland (a real music show on BBC UK - presented by the ol' Squeeze keyboarder). Sitting with a muso friend of mine we said nothing for the duration of the song - I Have Seen - then looked at each other awestruck. He bought it... and I confess I ripped it. Being an avid music *collector* I rarely listen to anything I rip. There's no commitment to give something a go if it comes that easy. Within 3 weeks Simple Things - particularly destiny - was number one on my iTunes playcount. Even after listening so frequently my love was never waning. I bought the album for real. Then purchased the remixes (skip those!). Saw them live twice (incredible performances by about 14 different people!). Bought "When it Falls" (another cracker!) and pretty much every live version on iTunes since. Enough waffle. Simply amazing. Destiny (track 3) and In the Waiting Line (track 8) are the standouts... with tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 etc. a very close second. Lie back, listen loud and lap it up.

Favorite Late-Nighter

I have an extensive collection of downtempo, and this is by far my favorite. I recommend it to anybody. It is a perfect blend of Jazz, R&B and Electronica. I don't have a favorite track, but I recommend "Simple Things", Red Dust," and "Spinning" for those who have already heard "Destiny," "Distractions," and "In The Waiting Line."


Formed: 1997 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The men behind the European downtempo outfit Zero 7 -- producers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker -- launched their careers in the music industry as tea boys at a London recording studio. Shortly thereafter, however, both were in the thick of action, working alongside a string of well-known British musicians such as the Pet Shop Boys and Robert Plant. They spent the best part of the '90s honing their production skills behind the scenes. Then, after taking on the name of a nightclub in Honduras, the duo...
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Simple Things, Zero 7
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