"Latest album news - will definitely be coming out on Ben's Strange Feeling label, and we have been in negotiations with a much-loved indie label in the States (name to be revealed soon as ink dry). Due to release schedules the album has been put back a bit, till next spring - but there will certainly be things to hear before that, and I will keep you updated as we finalise plans for downloadable tracks, and so on."
"Fans of our sister imprint, Strange Feeling, will be keen to hear that Tracey Thorn will be releasing her new solo album on Strange Feeling in Spring 2010. Produced with Ewan Pearson and featuring contributions from Al Doyle (Hot Chip), Jens Lekman and Cortney Tidwell, it is a beautiful stark record with stripped-back subtle arrangements and ten killer songs. Tracey is keeping fans updated personally from her own new Facebook page. For more links go to www.traceythorn.com."
Tracey Thorn is an English singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly three decades. She is probably best known as being one half of the highly acclaimed duo Everything but the Girl. She lives in London with her husband and three children, and has recently finished recording her third solo album.
TMN: There was about 25 years between the release of your first and second solo albums. Now, two years after “Out of the Woods,” we’re getting another. Why are we so lucky?
Tracey Thorn: Well, in between the release of the first and second solo albums there was a 25-year gap, but it was filled with nine Everything but the Girl albums, so it’s not like I was doing nothing for all that time. It works out at about an album every two to three years, so in fact, not much has changed.
TMN: What can we expect of the new album in terms of sound and style?
TT: It’s a much more acoustic record than “Out of the Woods.” It’s very simple in arrangement. I deliberately wanted to work with a more limited palette this time, and try to create a more consistent mood rather than being as all-inclusive as on the last record. So it’s not such a poppy record, and there’s a move away from programming and from the dancefloor.
TMN: Is Everything but the Girl likely to come off hiatus any time soon?
TT: My answer is still I don’t know. I think Ben and I both enjoy now having a bit of separate creative space after all those years of sharing that space with each other.
TMN: What’s something you’re not good at but wish you were?
TT: Driving (I’m so bad I haven’t driven for 20 years). Swimming.
TMN: What other artists or movements have inspired or influenced the new album?
TT: I can’t answer this question. It’s not how I think. Reviewers point out influences; they’re never conscious.
TMN: What’s changed about your creative process since becoming a mother?
TT: It used to be a continuous thing; now it has huge holes in it. Months and months go by where the “creative process” does not exist for me. Then, thankfully, it reappears from time to time.
TMN: What’s your favorite object in your workspace?
TT: My little reed organ, bought for almost nothing on eBay. I write songs on it and they all sound like hymns.
TMN: On your MySpace blog, you recently announced getting married earlier this year after a “27-year engagement.” Why did you decide that this was the right time?
TT: Like many things in our life, it was a somewhat random decision, made on impulse. You know what they say, “marry in haste, repent at leisure.” Let’s hope we don’t regret being so reckless.
TMN: If you could change one law, what would it be?
TT: Well, I’d certainly be tougher on homeopathy.
TMN: What’s the best advice you’d give to your childhood self?
TT: Take up yoga. You have back problems ahead, and it’s never too soon. —ERIK BRYAN, Sep. 30, 2009
"New album is to be called Love and Its Opposite. Will be released mid-May. As you probably know, the record was finished a little while ago, but the slight hold-up has been caused by contractual business. Having come to an agreement with Virgin, the album will be released on Ben's Strange Feeling label, and in the US on the very lovely Merge label.
Was recorded in Berlin and London. Produced by Ewan Pearson. Is 10 songs long - the PERFECT album length! (I was so cross when Out Of The Woods ended up having 11 songs....) Eight new songs by me, plus a cover of "Come On Home To Me" by Lee Hazlewood, and a cover of The Unbending Trees song "You are a lover".
i am tomorrow recording/filming a little session of some of the new songs, to be viewable via internet sometime soon (if it all goes well) - wish me luck, i am terrified ))
SO - 3 songs filmed so far - having a break and a cup of tea. got false eyelashes and green nail polish on. apart from that, it's all very au naturel. i am even enjoying myself!
ah, ok, when i said "au naturel" i didn't mean naked. god you guys are so PERVY. what i meant was that i have done some very sparse acoustic versions of songs that were already sparse and acoustic. so - HAH! - naked in other words. but wearing clothes. thankyou all for wishing me luck. i wasn't terrified in the end, it was fine. night night
17 February 2010 // Tracey confronts love and its opposite on new
After pausing an 18-year career with partner Ben Watt in best-selling alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982-2000), followed by a self-imposed hiatus to start a family, Tracey Thorn re-emerged in 2007 to a wave of critical acclaim with the glittering autobiographical folk-disco of 'Out Of The Woods', her first strictly solo album since 1982's indie classic 'A Distant Shore'. Now she is back with another: the starkly beautiful Love And Its Opposite on Strange Feeling Records.
Partnering again with Berlin-based producer Ewan Pearson (who worked on much of Out of the Woods, and more recently with Delphic), Tracey has created an album that is striking in its simplicity. Recorded in Berlin and London, and featuring guest contributions from Hot Chip's Al Doyle, The Invisible's Leo Taylor, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman, Nashville singer-songwriter-drummer Cortney Tidwell and Los Valentinos' guitarist, Jono, Love And Its Opposite is steeped in a compassionate directness. The tight, often undecorated arrangements for guitar, piano, bass, and drums (and a smattering of strings and woodwind) serve ten songs over a compact thirty-nine minutes that confront the full unvarnished weight of complex relationships in flux.
'It is a record about the person I am now and the people around me,' says Tracey. 'About real life after forty.'
Covers of Lee Hazlewood's 'Come On Home To Me' (a duet with Jens Lekman) and 'You Are A Lover' by Budapest's The Unbending Trees (with whom Tracey collaborated in 2008) are added to eight originals that tackle head-on the realities of life in its middle years: marriage and divorce ('Long White Dress' and 'Oh, the Divorces!'); family ghosts ('Kentish Town'); confronting life alone ('Singles Bar'); and the collision of youth and adulthood ('Hormones'). In talking about 'Why Does The Wind?' and 'Late in the Afternoon,' Tracey says, 'Life needs stamina. Love is often either under threat or being urged to stand the test of time.' The album closes with 'Swimming' (featuring Cortney Tidwell on drums and backing vocals). 'I really wanted it to be the closing track,' she says. 'It holds out hope for love's survival even when it seems to be in hibernation.'
Backtracking, it is hard to find a decade recently where Tracey Thorn's songwriting has not been influential. Often overlooked by those who choose to focus on her uniquely sensual yet confessional voice, her direct, unadorned stories have cut through to find many revered supporters. Fresh out of school in the UK in the early 1980s, she formed the cult girl band Marine Girls, whose two-album career of edgy teen love songs has influenced lo-fi indie bands ever since. Among noted Marine Girls fans you'll find Kurt Cobain (Nirvana was reportedly rehearsing 'In Love' before Cobain's death) and The xx. In 1982, she followed it with her own eight-song classic, 'A Distant Shore', which catapulted her to the top of the UK indie charts. Throughout the 1980s, she shared writing with partner Ben Watt in the British duo Everything But The Girl (EBTG). In the '90s, she co-wrote EBTG's global smash 'Missing' before delivering lyrics, melody, and vocals for one of the decade's seminal ballads, Massive Attack's 'Protection,' and contributing centrally to EBTG's best-selling electronica crossover albums Walking Wounded and Temperamental. In 2006, she returned to the dance floor, writing 'Damage' for cult German duo Tiefschwarz before releasing Out of the Woods in 2007.
Love And Its Opposite also signals Tracey's return to the independent scene and unites her in a fresh alliance with longtime partner Ben Watt. Granted leave of absence from Virgin/EMI, she will see the album released on Ben's Strange Feeling Records (alt-pop sister imprint to his more famous dance label Buzzin' Fly) where she joins labelmates such as The Unbending Trees and Copenhagen's Figurines. Meanwhile, in North America, Merge Records (The Arcade Fire, Magnetic Fields, M Ward) will release the album, making Tracey one of only a handful of UK artists to have graced the illustrious Stateside independent.
Despite spending time out of the public eye, Tracey has been keen to stay engaged with her fans via MySpace, Facebook and Twitter where she now corresponds daily, posting photos of her garden and providing mixtapes, Spotify playlists and casual observation on everything from politics to X Factor, all with a dry, laconic sense of humor that has endeared her to many new followers.
Love And Its Opposite is a humane and truthful collection from one of our finest singers and songwriters. It will be released on May 18 (North America) and May 17 (Rest of the world).
// Tracey's new album 'Love And Its Opposite' is released on May 17 (May 18 Nth America). There will be a single with remixes out just before it in April, but to keep you going until then you can download the album's opening track, 'Oh, The Divorces!' for free now. Grab free download.
// Fill your ears with Tracey's fab January Spotify mixtape which is, in her own words, "just a few bits and pieces I like, mostly old stuff, a bit random".
After pausing an 18-year career with partner Ben Watt in best-selling alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982–2000), followed by a self-imposed hiatus to start a family, Tracey Thorn re-emerged in 2007 to a wave of critical acclaim with the glittering autobiographical folk-disco of Out of the Woods, her first solo album since 1982’s indie classic A Distant Shore. Now she is back with another: the starkly beautiful Love and Its Opposite on Merge Records.
Partnering again with Berlin-based producer Ewan Pearson (who worked on much of Out of the Woods and more recently with Delphic), Tracey has created an album that is striking in its simplicity. Recorded in Berlin and London, and featuring guest contributions from Hot Chip’s Al Doyle, The Invisible’s Leo Taylor, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman, Nashville songwriter-drummer Cortney Tidwell, and Lost Valentinos’ guitarist Jono Ma, Love and Its Opposite is steeped in a compassionate directness. The tight, often undecorated arrangements for guitar, piano, bass, and drums (and a smattering of strings and woodwinds) serve ten songs over a compact thirty-nine minutes that confront the full unvarnished weight of complex relationships in flux.
Love and Its Opposite is a humane and truthful collection from one of our finest singers and songwriters.
Preorders will ship to arrive on or around the May 18, 2010 release date.
On May 17 2010 our sister imprint, Strange Feeling Records, releases the brand new solo album from Tracey Thorn. Partner, of course, of Buzzin' Fly head honcho Ben Watt, and co-founder of the alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl, Tracey returned to the limelight (after a few years break to raise her family) with 'Out Of The Woods' in 2007. Her new album is called 'Love And Its Opposite'. It is (like much of the previous album) produced by Ewan Pearson and is a starkly beautiful collection of ten songs, with unadorned arrangements and direct lyrics. Guest contributors include Hot Chip's Al Doyle, and Swedish singer-songwriter, Jens Lekman. You can grab the album's opening track 'Oh, The Divorces!' for FREE right now (see below). Meanwhile, we threw the Buzzin' Fly Q&A at Tracey. Here are her answers.
............................................... Where were you born and when?
1962, Brookmans Park
Your father's occupation?
Your mother's occupation?
Brothers or sisters?
One of each
What is your earliest memory?
The smell of Karvol on rosebud pillowcase - and watching the fireworks through the bedroom window.
What was the first poster on your wall?
Describe your room as a teenager
For some reason I painted the walls a kind of pale orange, and the chair to match. It was a tiny bedroom, with a single bed, cupboard and a chair, and the small floor area was ENTIRELY covered in mess - clothes, magazines, half empty bottles of nail polish, my Dansette record player with records carelessly scattered all around it. Complete and utter disaster zone.
What was your first car?
Second hand Renault 5
What do you drive now?
Uggs, I'm afraid, due to enduring coldness of winter. Am looking forward to flip flop time.
A dog when I was a child. none now. too allergic.
What watch are you wearing?
Tiffany silver watch, had it for years, bought for me by husband.
What is in your pockets?
Abolutely nothing at the moment.
What would you wear to a fancy dress party?
I just wouldn't go. Under ANY circumstances.
The last time you cried?
Hmmm, can't actually remember, am clearly hard hearted in the extreme.
The Beatles were ...
A long time ago.
Are you a city or countryside person?
City, with bits of countryside from time to time. Don't like how quiet and dark it gets at night though. I'd quite happily live in the country, if i could come back to town at about 7pm every evening, in order to go to the cinema, eat out, and then sleep without that awful axe murderer SILENCE looming over you.
When you look in the mirror what do you not like?
Frown line between eyes which seems to imply state of permanent crossness.
You get three free days of solitude. Where do you go?
Boutique hotel in Mykonos would be nice.
Your house is burning down. What three things do you grab as you run out?
Passports, laptop, photo album - I am very practical, with a sentimental streak.
Can you recognise any wild flowers?
Oh yes, I most certainly can. Go on, test me.
The most personal thing in my purse is ...
Medic Alert card with details of my allergies on it
A favourite book?
All 12 volumes of A Dance To The Music Of Time.
What's on your bedside table today?
Three David Mitchell novels, the Luke Haines book, an Alain de Boton book, glass of water.
What does jazz mean to you?
Squiddly-DEEE-bop-bap-ba-doo (not really, i am being facetious)
What would you most to like to receive in the morning mail?
Do you like custard?
Of course, who doesn't?
A perfect breakfast consists of ...
Cup of tea. THEN, up to an hour later, nice creamy coffee, possibly a cappucino, with chocolatey pastries, one of those mini very crisp baguettes and some unsalted butter
A world of free downloads means ...
... the end of civilization. Well that's what you'd think, to hear some people talk about it.
Favourite sport to watch?
Oh please don't make me watch sport. Please.
Favourite sport to play?
Oh God, must I? MUST I? but I've hurt my ankle. I've got a note and everything.
What is your greatest achievement?
I was quite proud of my cucumbers last year.
Do you have a major regret?
Having that bob haircut in the mid-80's.
What colour is your voice?
Brown, I guess.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
What song would you like played at your funeral?
'Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries', sung by Judy Garland.
Tracey Thorn we're releasing 5 album demos ('The Berlin Sessions') as bonus trax to go with the new album. in UK, you can pre-order them as a limited edition bonus disc bundled with the album ONLY from HMV online ( http://bit.ly/cYe4MF ). In the US, Merge release them DIGITALLY thru iTunes on pre-sale only. also, look out for another extra track, my cover of Ron Sexsmith's 'Child Star' (available from UK iTunes & US Amazon MP3).
Tracey Thorn's third solo album, Love and Its Opposite, focuses on the big topics outlined in its title, but it does so in miniature; both lyrically and musically, it's a record about the small details that make up the most mundane and wrenching moments of a person's day-to-day life.
Thorn, who also was the vocalist for the dance duo Everything but the Girl (a collaboration with her longtime partner and now-husband Ben Watt), has a rich, mournful alto that can express in a single syllable what other musicians struggle to say over the course of entire careers. It helps that her lyrics are full of novelistic details that sum up entire character backstories in the space of a few words; in "Oh, the Divorces!" she sings of "the afternoon handovers by the swings" that a now-dissolved couple has to endure, while the narrator in "Singles Bar" details the waxing and French manicuring she goes through in order to properly prepare for her on-the-town peacocking.
The music on Love and Its Opposite also cuts to the quick; the arrangements exist in such a way that they sound like they've been whittled down to only their most essential parts. "Hormones," which chronicles the arguments between a mother and daughter, crackles with handclaps and spunk, while the failing-relationship lament "Why Does the Wind?" is laced with a spooky keyboard line that echoes the eyes-lowered sadness of the lyrics. The immediate intimacy of the music, when combined with the lyrics' forthrightness, feels like a late-night chat session between friends who are ready to tell their stories, no matter how painful they might have been to live through when they were unfolding.
Love and Its Opposite will be available for streaming here in its entirety until its release on May 18.
Everything but the Girl's Tracey Thorn has a voice that is lush and haunting, while also understated and relatable. It's such a touching instrument that it barely needs accompaniment. Thorn's third solo album, "Love and Its Opposite," honors her vocals with arrangements that are beautifully minimalist. The 10 tracks are meditations on the many phases and life stages of love and lovers, beginning with wistful stunner "Oh, the Divorces!" On the track, Thorn reflects on the relationships collapsing around her and how they reflect upon her own. A married woman looks elsewhere for intimacy on the poignant "Singles Bar," while "Hormones" playfully muses on anxiety and unpredictability. And album closer "Swimming" is a gorgeous, dreamy and hopeful lament about the end of an affair. Throughout, restrained lines of guitar, synth and strings construct sultry noir beats and flowing harmonies that nimbly support Thorn's narratives. Everything but the Girl fans might miss the duo's dancey leanings, but Thorn proves that her voice is enough to transcend genre preferences. --Evie Nagy
a new EP in august - experimental remixes of 3 tracks from 'Love And Its Opposite'. lovely, woozy, leftfield reworks by seth troxler, WALLS and blue daisy. a new slant on things. will be called the 'opposites EP'.
Tracey's acclaimed current album Love And Its Opposite presents a singer-songwriter at the height of her powers: unadorned, direct and honest. But with a dance background as strong as that shared by her and Strange Feeling label boss Ben Watt (her longtime Everything But The Girl partner), the urge to remix and reinterpret is ever-present. And so, she releases Opposites, an EP of experimental remixes of tracks (plus their original versions) from 'Love And Its Opposite', available digitally from 23 August. The three deliberately oblique reinterpretations throw a new sidelight on the material, which in its current form is going down a storm on both sides of the Atlantic, scoring a place in Spin.com's Top 20 Albums of 2010 So Far and hitting lucky number 13 in the 'Amazon Editors' List Of Best Of 2010 So Far'
We're offering one of those remixes for FREE here up front of release - Kentish Town (WALLS Remix)
Kompakt's WALLS are Sam Willis (from influential electronic music blog, Allez- Allez) and Alessio Natalizia (Banjo or Freakout). Their recent debut album has been one of the year's sleeper hits. Mixing the same influences that pepper the album, their rework of Kentish Town is a woozy, blissed-out dream, part Krautrock, part Eno ambience
Tracey Thorn's album 'Love And Its Opposite' came out on Monday May 17 2010. Recently featured in several best-of-year round-ups including Spin and The Guardian's Alexis Petridis, here is a chance to preview all the tracks, plus links to places you can buy the album and bonus tracks.
'This is adult pop in the best sense: reflective, compassionate, drily witty' / THE WORD
'Absolutely fantastic. A really, really brilliant record' / ALEXIS PETRIDIS, THE GUARDIAN MUSIC PODCAST
'What hooks you in, now, as ever, is that voice' * * * * / MOJO
'A grown-up record that is never boring ... powerful and poignant' / GARETH GRUNDY, THE OBSERVER
'Thorn's voice ... brings each song to genuine life and invests it with heart-snagging emotion' * * * * / THE GUARDIAN
'Each song is a stealth bomb of tender poignancy' * * * * / THE INDEPENDENT
'Smart, sophisticated and well-worth investigating' / CLASH
'Thorn tackles divorce, kids and singledom with elegant incisiveness ... this is brooding at its most compelling.' / ATTITUDE
'A real grown-up gem' * * * * / THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
'Invoked by the XX as the godmother of UK indie' * * * * / UNCUT
'Searing honesty, bleak humour and a voice that has improved with age. An album of inspired adult-pop' * * * * / DAILY MAIL
'Lyrically it's about as good as it gets' / DAILY EXPRESS
'Starkly beautiful. Cool, contemporary and proof that age hasn't diminuished a special talent' * * * * ½ / THE SUN
'Often sad, yet always warmly sympathetic it is a well-weighted, smartly observed collection' / Q
'Thorn's best work since Everything But The Girl. Give her another couple of years and she could well be eligible for national treasure status' * * * * / MUSICOMH.COM
'A pathos-filled electro-folk stunner' / ANDY GENSLER, NEW YORK TIMES
'Hands-down one of the best releases of 2010' / THE AWL
'Love And Its Opposite' resides firmly in the current moment. The album also draws a line toward Nashville. Thorn would surely consider it an honor to stand among several gernerations of country stars - male and female - who have proved that there's more to ageing gracefully than showing off a hard body and a feline heart. With 'Love And Its Opposite', she earns that place. / ANN POWERS, LA TIMES
Brand new song, unreleased movie and personal photo
As a thankyou for all the love and attention paid to her album this year, Love And Its Opposite, Tracey Thorn shins down the chimney to deliver a FREE downloadable Christmas stocking to warm your winter fireside.
Inside, and yours to keep, you'll find a brand new cover version of Sufjan Stevens' seasonal classic, 'Sister Winter' recorded in Berlin with producer Ewan Pearson, plus a filmed live-at-home performance of 'Singles Bar' (from her current album 'Love And Its Opposite') featuring Ewan on keyboards and Tracey's partner, Ben Watt on electric guitar. In addition there is a personal photo of Tracey snapped by Ben in Brooklyn during her promo trip to New York in April this year.
Tracey Thorn is celebrating Record Store Day 2011 on April 16, by releasing a 10" vinyl EP. A-side is a remix of "You are a lover" by Clock Opera. B-side has the original version PLUS my Xmas free download 'Sister Winter' now on vinyl for the first time. If you can't get a copy from a local indie store we will have some online with international shipping. There will also be an MP3 download a few days later on iTunes etc.
on October 31st Tracey Thorn will release a new EP. Title track is a cover of The xx's "Night Time". The band asked her to record it for an album of various people covering their songs. The album never got completed, so they are releasing the track on Strange Feeling records. It has Ben Watt on guitar! New remixes of Swimming on the B-side.
Tracey Thorn / 'The Making Of Tinsel And Lights' (Trailer)
A look behind the scenes at the making of Tracey Thorn's Christmas and winter album, 'Tinsel and Lights'. (Trailer). The full mini-documentary with extended interview with Tracey will be available soon. Order the album - http://bit.ly/Qay1d6
Tracey Thorn in conversation with Leeds Beckett’s senior lecturer in Media and Culture, Dr Peter Mills.
Tracey formed the band Everything But The Girl whilst studying at the University of Hull in 1982 with her partner – now husband – Ben Watt. They released nine albums between 1984-99 and found global success with the single ‘Missing’. She has also issued four solo albums and is currently carving out a new career as an author, publishing her memoir ‘Bedsit Disco Queen’ in 2013.
The Brits are so polite these days. One reason? There’s no bands left
It used to feel like a school canteen full of rival gangs - now it's a civilised dining room.
In short, nothing happens. Almost nothing. With my Mum-face on I think that Paloma Faith holding a microphone in the pouring rain is a health and safety nightmare, but it turns out that the accident waiting to happen is an unforeseen one, involving stairs, a cape and a dancing bull. Madonna falls over, giving the evening its longed-for news angle. Seated only yards from the stage I hear the crash as she goes down, most shocking of all being the heavy ker-THUMP of her mic hitting the floor. Golly, I think, that mic’s actually on. Not a given nowadays – and quite a thrill.
What is most remarkable though, and confirms everything I’ve ever thought about the indestructible will-to-power of Stars, is her recovery. Have you ever fallen flat on your back? I have once, on the slippery decking outside my back door, and on landing whiplashed and winded did what you would do, and burst into tears of self-pity. Which is why I’m not a global superstar with a decades-spanning career, and neither are you.