16th April 2021
My brother sent me a heads-up about an album a few days ago. The musicians recorded it under the name Equador, and I was happy to uncover that Equador is the brainchild of the uber-talented Henry Binns (of Zero 7 fame) and his lovely wife, the Lady Catherine Anna Brudenell-Bruce (daughter of the Earl of Cardigan), otherwise known as Bo Bruce.
My fellow music blogger, Frank Darnell of A Frankie View, has covered a lot of information about Zero 7 in the past (a well-worthwhile site – follow the link), and I am glad to be able to add to the information surrounding this talented outfit. Even if you don’t think you know Zero 7, you have probably heard their music behind adverts, cooking shows, documentaries etc. Not that this was the plan, it’s just that their music is so adaptable.
Henry Binns and Zero 7 are a topic for a much more detailed post and can’t be told without mentioning Binns’ musical partner Sam Hardaker, and the singer/songwriters Sia (for whom I have huge respect), and Sophie Barker, so back to the Equador story.
To set the tone and give you a taste of Equador’s brand of Trip-Hop I’m starting with the main title track of their album, ‘Bones of Man’.
Henry Binns has a love/hate relationship with the term Trip-Hop. Although It undeniably describes both Zero 7 and Equador’s music, unfortunately, the term has now become dubbed ‘background music’ by some who don’t fully understand the intricacies and nuances of the genre.
As Binns’ stated in a Music Radar interview “Now, after almost 20 years, I can look back and analyse it objectively. Me and Sam (Hardaker) had grown up making chillout tapes for each other. That was the music we felt comfortable with. We understood that trip-hop – as it was known – can be just as profound and moving as someone screaming at the top of their voice, telling you their heart is bleeding. We were trying to make music that mattered”
As far as being ‘background music, he said, “I don’t agree. Look at the whole Balearic/Café del Mar thing. You can be sitting in a beach bar in Greece and the right music will make you think the world is a wonderful place. Pink Floyd… Bob Marley? Can you truly refer to that as background music?
Time for another track from the Bones of Man album, here’s Belly Up.
Bo had digitally released her debut 5-track EP, Search the Night, in late 2010, but it was in 2012 when she was a finalist on the first season of The Voice that sales started to skyrocket. Videos had been made for two of the tracks ‘Fighting Arizona’ and ‘Black Ice’, so piggy-backing her EP on her participation in the national TV show was a no-brainer.
It was at this time she met Henry Binns, and after The Voice, managed to carve a successful solo career, providing guest vocal slots for bands like Snow Patrol and Chicane, as well as working with many top-level EDM producers. Her debut album, Before I Sleep, was released through Mercury and reached #10 in the UK Album Charts in 2013.
She married Binns in 2016 and within months the couple, along with Jodi Milliner, released two singles ‘Blood’ and ‘Bones of Man’, which was also the name of the only full album from this remarkable outfit. Since its release, we have seen some remixes of certain tracks by various DJs, and in 2019 a new 3-track Tribal War EP, which hopefully means that there is another album on the way. I can’t wait!
I’m closing the mini-feature with a track that completely blew me away on the first hearing. The quality of production is right up there with the best of Zero 7’s work. This is from the Tribal War EP, here’s Treble O.
The Loving the Music mini-features are written and compiled by me to support Loving the Music’s Facebook page and group. Join the community for regular themed three-part posts that does more than just share a song.
The Author owns no copyright on the images or videos in this article. All images and links sourced from YouTube and Google and within the public domain.
Words © Andrew Knapp 2021