15 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tracey Thorn has always possessed the kind of heart-stirring voice that careful listeners find so endearing. Her work with Everything But the Girl brought the material to life and her 2007 solo album, Out of the Woods turned her towards electro-pop that made for exciting, cutting-edge sounds but which left the beautiful longing in her voice behind. Now, working with the same producer, Ewan Pearson, she records this set of piano-based rainy-day ballads that are completely satisfying. “Oh, The Divorces!” and “Long White Dress” start things with a gentle prodding before “Hormones” kicks up a clubland backbeat. “Why Does The Wind?” equally steps it up. But tracks such as “Singles Bar” and Lee Hazlewood’s “Come On Home To Me,” sung with Jens Lekman, are spiked with a tentative fear, a sense that maybe aging is the perfect answer to youth’s restless ennui. “Swimming” is exactly the kind of tune one expects to hear from Thorn, a polished and mature piece of writing and performance. However, the bonus cuts, demos recorded in Berlin, are equally entrancing and prove Thorn is always at the ready to deliver a first-rate performance.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tracey Thorn has always possessed the kind of heart-stirring voice that careful listeners find so endearing. Her work with Everything But the Girl brought the material to life and her 2007 solo album, Out of the Woods turned her towards electro-pop that made for exciting, cutting-edge sounds but which left the beautiful longing in her voice behind. Now, working with the same producer, Ewan Pearson, she records this set of piano-based rainy-day ballads that are completely satisfying. “Oh, The Divorces!” and “Long White Dress” start things with a gentle prodding before “Hormones” kicks up a clubland backbeat. “Why Does The Wind?” equally steps it up. But tracks such as “Singles Bar” and Lee Hazlewood’s “Come On Home To Me,” sung with Jens Lekman, are spiked with a tentative fear, a sense that maybe aging is the perfect answer to youth’s restless ennui. “Swimming” is exactly the kind of tune one expects to hear from Thorn, a polished and mature piece of writing and performance. However, the bonus cuts, demos recorded in Berlin, are equally entrancing and prove Thorn is always at the ready to deliver a first-rate performance.

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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, there 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. ~ Andy Kellman

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