The Garden

Studio Album by released in 2006
The Garden's tracklist:
Futures
Throw It All Away
Seeing Things
The Pageant of the Bizarre
You're My Flame
Left Behind
Today
This Fine Social Scene
Your Place
If I Can't Have You
Crosses
Waiting to Die

The Garden review

Zero 7 combines vintage funk with cutting edge instrumentation

At the heart of Zero 7 are Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns. This techno-duo combines vintage funk with cutting edge instrumentation to create sexy, soulful grooves. Both men began their careers in the 1990’s as sound engineers in London – remixing music for big-time Brits such as Pet Shop Boys and Robert Plant. Their former college-mate, Nigel Godrich, notable producer for Radiohead, gave them a shot at re-vamping their sound. The results were stellar: a completely different remix of Climbing Up the Walls that appeared as a B-side of Radiohead’s single Karma Police. One good remix deserved another, beginning with Terry Callier’s Love Theme from Spartacus followed by ones for Sneaker Pimps, Lambchop and Lenny Kravitz. This was what one might consider the turning point in their career – going from behind the scenes and into the spotlight... Zero 7 have created the kind of buzz that most major label rock bands can only dream of. They have taken great records and won adoring plaudits from fans such as Jools Holland, Gilles Peterson and The Face.

The Garden is a real return to form for Zero 7

This spring Zero 7 release their third long player, The Garden. Featuring vocals from the likes of Sia Furler and Jose Gonzalez (Scandinavian singer-songwriter and guitarist with his own critically adorned album, Veneer, in the UK top ten) the album is a real return to form and looks set to catapult the band back up the charts. Even more interesting is their latest guest singer... none other than Henry Binns, himself. Having done most of the backing vocals on their previous records, he is now giving it a shake in the forefront. He sings a couple of songs with Sia and does the lead on a track called Your Place. Futures is the first single to be released from The Garden. It follows the same sound we have come to expect from Zero 7, with laid back summer-time vibes. The only real surprise of the track is the greater emphasis on vintage style synths to really fill out the sound, and give it a lot more of an almost prog-rock feel. Jose Gonzalez' vocals are perfect for the Zero 7 sound and really sit well with lush multi-layered and textured musical backing. The song also takes the listener by surprise in the outro, where a break from formula sees the track veer off into a glitchy/effected synth and vocals sample interplay.

The best work that Hardaker and Binns have done

The Garden was produced by Sam and Henry and mixed by Phill Brown. It sees Zero 7 take a fresher, more upbeat musical direction, whilst still maintaining their trademark sound and could well turn out to be the soundtrack to the summer. It is the best work that Hardaker and Binns have done, even surpassing their debut, Simple Things. Zero 7 is successfully navigating its way through without too much concern for the ‘roadblocks’ or labels that may have stuck along the way. Even such genres such as acid jazz or electronica are limiting for them. Last summer Zero 7 played at some of the biggest festivals across Europe including a headline London gig, which sold out 4 weeks upfront. Sia Furler’s distinctively seductive vocals, Sophie Barker’s sultry, sexy sound and Mozez’ deep, velvety tone came together to offer a stunning combination of vocal talent which crossed over perfectly to the stage. For the live shows Sam and Henry got together with musicians and friends to build a group of mostly 11 and sometimes up to 20 members on stage at one time to sell out audiences. For a live downtempo band they created an amazingly electric atmosphere and received standing ovations at every gig.

(28.04.2006)
Rate review4.03
Total votes - 29


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