I wanted this song at my wedding during the pre-show music Adam played (“So go on mister, make Miss me Mrs you.”), but stee said the lyric right before that, “I can not quite, but nearly / Guarantee, a divorce,” was kind of inappropriate. Point taken. But the way that girl wails “I love you” made me stop what I was just working on to come over here and give a little Zero 7 love.
I couldn’t name one of their songs’ titles. Before I pulled up all of my Zero 7 songs on my iPod to see how many I had, I probably couldn’t have named any of them in three notes. They’ve been the background of parties, writing sessions, long car rides, and gym sessions for some time now. I feel like I’ve been ignoring them. There are a few bands in my life like that — bands I love but couldn’t tell you a single fact about them, including the name of the band I was bopping around to (Scissor Sisters, I am referring to you. I’m sorry for how much I never realized how much I love you). It’s funny that we don’t do that with movies or books. It’s not like you’re watching a movie and forget the title, or you’re reading a book where you don’t know what it’s about. But with music, we let it slip inside and be a part of the moment, the undercurrent, allowing it to be a part of the mood, rather than the front and center attraction.
Zero 7, to me, sounds like the first moments of walking into a party full of people you’ve never met. It’s smoky, but you don’t see anyone smoking. Everybody’s drinking beer you don’t recognize, or they have glasses of white wine or plastic cups filled with something you can’t see. You can’t see much, actually, because it’s dark and crowded and there’s the roar of everybody talking. You can feel the beat on the floorboards under your feet, and every once in a while a cool breeze will rip between two people and hit your chest, or your face, tickling your skin. You head towards that current, knowing there’s something over there that’s better than this anonymous chaos you’ve walked into. Your friends have gone deeper into the party. You hold your purse tighter. You look for someone — anyone — that you know.
You find the kitchen. You steal someone’s beer from the fridge (the good stuff’s always hidden in the crisper). You don’t care who’s drink you’re drinking because you don’t know how you got to this party and nobody is going to talk to you all night. You know it. You knew this was a bad idea, but you did it anyway. Where the hell did all of your friends run off to? Why do all of your friends suck?
You want to ask what’s playing on the stereo, because it’s the only thing that isn’t horrible, other than the punk-rocked Red Stripe in your hand, but again, everybody’s talking to everybody else, and their circles are getting tighter and tighter, making it impossible for you to find a way in.
The back door is open. You head outside. There’s a speaker out there, and the music is louder, and someone sitting with a cigarette, sitting on the steps, looking out at the trees.
You light a cigarette. You sit nearby. Not too close, just close enough.
The music is there, between you, letting you both have something in common. A conversation starter.
The song ends. The next one starts.
“She has a pretty voice.”
“Do you know who we’re listening to?”
“I think they’re called Zero 7.”
And where you go from there? It’s up to the two of you.