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About Tracey Thorn
One of the most enduring English singer/songwriters, Tracey Thorn began making music with Stern Bops and then, more notably, Marine Girls, a minimalist pop group that released a pair of albums inspired by Young Marble Giants and the Raincoats. While Marine Girls were active, Thorn released A Distant Shore, a relatively moody, if similarly skeletal solo album, on Cherry Red in 1982. Around that time, she met Ben Watt -- who was also signed to Cherry Red -- and formed a partnership as Everything But the Girl. From 1984 through 1999, Thorn and Watt released ten albums that shifted from indie pop to slick sophisti-pop to downtempo club music. Additionally, Thorn appeared on recordings by the likes of the Style Council, the Go-Betweens, and Massive Attack. Shortly after having twin daughters together, she and Watt put EBtG on ice, as Watt DJ'ed and operated his Buzzin' Fly label while Thorn stayed home with the children. They had a third child, a boy, in 2001.
After several years away from music, Thorn began writing again and recorded her second solo album, Out of the Woods, which was released in early 2007. Instead of working with Watt, she collaborated with a number of producers, including Ewan Pearson, Charles Webster, Cagedbaby, Sasse, and Martin Wheeler. A year later, Thorn and Watt married. Pearson returned as sole producer of Thorn's 2010 effort Love and Its Opposite, released in the U.K. by Watt's Strange Feeling label. In 2012, Thorn released Tinsel and Lights, a holiday album featuring songs by contemporary composers. A well-received memoir, Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star, was published in 2013. Following that were a couple low-key releases, including the two-song Molly Drake Songs (recorded with Watt for a BBC 4 documentary about the mother of Nick Drake) and "Under the Ivy" (a Kate Bush cover). Thorn was sought out by screenwriter and director Carol Morley to provide the soundtrack for The Falling, a drama that debuted at the BFI London Film Festival in 2014. Just prior to the film's wider release the following April, Thorn's contribution -- eight short songs -- was issued as Songs from the Falling.
Thorn's career as a writer kept going strong. In 2014, she started writing a column for The New Statesman and in 2015 published Naked at the Albert Hall, a book delving into the art of singing. Her own voice was heard again later that year on a compilation of her work as a solo artist: Solo: Songs and Collaborations 1982-2015. She also appeared as a guest vocalist on John Grant's album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure. She stayed quiet on the musical front for the next few years, only appearing on Jens Lekman's 2017 album Life Will See You Now. She had begun writing songs for another album in 2016, however, and in 2017, began recording them with producer Ewan Pearson, bassist Jenny Lee, and drummer Stella Mozgawa (both of whom play in Warpaint). Along the way, vocalists Shura and Corinne Bailey Rae stopped by to add contributions. The record, simply titled Record, was issued in March of 2018 by Merge in North America and by Unmade Road everywhere else. ~ Andy Kellman