NEW YORK (Billboard) - It's been a hot minute since
Everything but the Girl's last studio album (1999's
"Temperamental") and an even hotter minute since Girl
frontwoman Tracey Thorn's solo debut (1982's mini-album "A
Distant Shore"). In the past few years, Thorn has been featured
on tracks from Massive Attack and Deep Dish, but it never has
been enough to truly satisfy hardcore fans.
Two years ago, after a long break from recording, Thorn
worked with German duo Tiefschwarz ("Damage"), an experience
that got her thinking about the possibility of a new solo
album. The mother of three -- and wife of her Everything but
the Girl partner, DJ/producer/label owner Ben Watt -- decided
to give it a go.
On March 20, Astralwerks issues Thorn's sophomore solo
album, "Out of the Woods." The collection of songs is evenly
split between acoustic ("Hands up to the Ceiling") and
dance/electronic (lead single "It's All True"). Throughout, a
pop sensibility -- with some winks and nods to the '80s --
Q: How did this collection of songs change and evolve
during the recording process?
A: When I started this album, I was thinking, "Well,
alright, I want to make a quirky little record, a little bit
acoustic, a little bit dance." I also thought I was going to do
a lot of covers, because I hadn't written anything in a long
time. But once I started, I found myself writing more songs and
collaborating with people. When the record was finished, I was
quite startled. I thought, "Wow, I made a pop record without
really meaning to."
Q: Do you believe your family life has given you a new
perspective with regard to making music?
A: Yeah. Maybe it's because my time is a bit more scarce
and more precious. I'm very aware of how incredibly lucky and
fortunate I am to be able to do this, to be able to go back and
Q: Do you have any personal expectations for "Out of the
A: I don't, really. If I was being more ambitious about it
and was planning to tour -- which I'm not -- and heavily
promote it, then I think, tentatively, I have a record here
that could be quite commercial and could do well. I'm doing
what I can, but I'm not going to be holding this record's hand
as much as I might have in the past. It's going to have to
cross the road by itself.
Q: There seems to be one element missing from the album:
Ben Watt. What gives?
A: There is an enormous amount of pressure when you live
and work together. We did that for a lot of years, and we made
it work. Now, we have this successful and wonderful balance
that works very well. Plus, with this record, I felt I had
something to prove to myself, that I needed to assert myself.
For me, the danger of working with Ben was that he hadn't had a
break from music. I think he might have taken the idea of the
record and run with it, and I would have been in the slow lane
trying to catch up.
Q: Are there any conversations regarding a new Everything
but the Girl album?
A: Yeah, we talk about such things. But I know it won't
happen until we have a really strong idea of what we want to
do. We could do it tomorrow, really, but we'd need a reason.