Archive for the ‘Tracey Thorn’ Category
I’m very happy that Tracey Thorn is so much in the news with the release of her new album, Love and Its Opposite. I follow her on Twitter, and if I could go back to 1986 and tell this to my 18-year-old self, the younger Peter would say … well, I’m not sure what he would say. Would he be astonished to be able to read on a daily basis the 180-character thoughts of one of his favorite musicians? Or would he not be able to get beyond the Twitter part? A few weeks ago Tracey hosted a little contest in which she asked her followers to each name something he or she hadn’t done that it seemed everyone else had. I nearly won (though there was no actual prize): I Tweeted back that I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. (Though I did have a few sips of hazelnut coffee back in the late ’80s, which may explain the resistance.) But it turned out there was another “coffee virgin,” as she described us.
This song is about what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone for a long time. Tracey’s husband and former bandmate, Ben Watt, accompanies, which makes it a little bit of an Everything But the Girl reunion.
Back in 2007, Tracey Thorn recorded two lovely covers of Magnetic Fields songs—”The Book of Love” and “Smoke and Mirrors”—as b-sides for singles off her last album, Out of the Woods. Then last year she covered another Magnetic Fields song, “Yeah! Oh Yeah!,” as a duet with Jens Lekman for a compilation album of non-Merge Records artists covering Merge artists. “Oh, The Divorces!” is the first single from her new album, Love and Its Opposite, which comes out in May—she’s now a Merge artist too, a recent signing—and it’s the best Magnetic Fields song that the Magnetic Fields never wrote. It’s witty, a little arch, and deeply felt. It even has an “Oh” in the title. It also has the added advantage of being sung by Tracey Thorn.
This is a video, possibly the only one, by the early ’80s band of Tracey Thorn, who not long after went on to form Everything But the Girl. Tracey started the Marine Girls when she was 15, and after she went to college the group played live shows whenever she had a holiday. She sang about half of the songs; the other half, including this one, were sung by Alice Fox, whose sister Jane played bass. In this clip, filmed at Brighton Pier, Tracey is the one with the pouffiest hair. Lazy Ways, the album this song comes from, was produced by Stuart Moxham of Young Marble Giants. I’ve been listening to Tracey Thorn songs a lot lately, and you should expect to see more of them here in the weeks ahead: she has a new solo album coming out in May.