Zero 7’s last full length album of new material was 2009’s Yeah Ghost; a year later came a “best of” collection, Record, featuring material from their first four albums. Since then the focus has been on EPs: Simple Science (2014), EP3 (2015), and now Shadows (2020).
Shadows consists of four tracks with musician Lou Stone. The tile track and “After The Fall” are immediately recognisable as Zero 7 productions – sophisticated, adult, smooth; although the lyric of “Shadows” suggests a reluctance to venture out, it has the late night feel of what Henry Binns (who makes up the core of Zero 7 with Sam Hardaker) terms “the sound of your first mojito in a nice bar”. “After The Fall” is equally sophisticated, with swooping strings of accentuate Stone’s emotive vocal with the track slowly building in drama.
The other two tracks are not so immediately recognisable. “Take My Hand” is laid-back folk, and closer “Outline” is a spacey, atmospheric trip into heartbreak. The continued willingness to experiment suggests there may be more to come from Zero 7, but in the meantime this EP certainly hits the sweet spot.
Note: the pre-release of Shadows included a link to live session videos of “After The Fall”, “Take My Hand” and “Outline”, all featuring Lou Stone.
Label: Family$ Bmg
Release Date: 23 OCT 2020