We were mightily impressed with the Silence From Signal album from Paradox Twin. Anything issued by White Star Records is usually a classy effort, but with Danny Sorrell heading a newly strngthend line up, their new work raised the bar significantly. Along with his writing, the voice of Nicole Johnson adds a wonderful contrast and empathy and helps to capture the story behind the album. Can’t wait for them to hopefully hit the road and thrill us with th elie Paradox Twin experience. In the meantime, Nicole joins us At The Barrier to share her love for Zero7.
It’s the year 2012. I’ve just checked into my hotel room in Dubai, where on the following night I will be performing as a backing vocalist as part of the entertainment line up for a gala dinner. The sun has already begun setting and I pull out my Sony Erikson phone, on which I had paid a little extra for the speaker quality. It’s always the same song that I play when I check into my hotel and dress for dinner: Destiny by Zero 7.
I was introduced to the album, Simple Things not long after its release in 2001. I was living in Los Angeles at the time, and its refreshing evolution of Jazz played well against late night city driving. But Destiny really caught my attention. The lyrics unapologetically speak of female sexuality and independence, yet still manages to admit to vulnerability.
Listening to the entire album, I was intrigued by the generosity of sound between the vocalists. While Sia definitely stood out for me, the harmonies with Sophie Barker suggests the kind of musical cooperation that even then, I had begun to see eroding in the music industry. In those days, I was still trying to find my own identity as a vocalist and eagerly identified Zero 7’s sound to my then producer as something I felt inspired by.
It’s 9 years later and I have listened to this album through a number of different media devices. When it was released, I would have listened to it on CD (which I still have). I will admit now to having been an early user of music sharing platforms and before I had a CD burner, I would have had to download my desktop playlist over dial up connection. Once mobile phone technology developed to hold playlist data on micro SD cards, I listened to Simple Things on the move. Now, in the early hours of the morning, it’s back on my desktop, playing through Spotify (I pay for the subscription now).
This album has definitely grown up with me and still shapes my ideals as I imagine my own career and my own future. The playability despite changing music media means that it has been a constant in my playlist. It pairs with sunrise and coffee just as beautifully with the sunset over a cosmopolitan city.
Our grateful thanks to Nicole for sharing her insights.
Here’s the video for Paradox Twin’s Sea Of Tranquility.
And here’s a nudge about the Paradox Twin album launch gig in February 2022. Did I hear mention of some more dates? I hope so…
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