21

Grand Canyon

Tracey Thorn

Out of the Woods (2007)

You don’t know how sad I am that Everything But the Girl hasn’t released any new material since 1999. They are probably my favorite group, and “Walking Wounded” has for some time stood as my favorite album ever. So it was incredibly exciting to finally get Tracey Thorn’s solo album, as her voice is perhaps the most lovely thing I’ve ever heard. “Out of the Woods” turned out a bit spottier than I would’ve liked (Ben Watt is clearly as key to the magic of EBTG as Tracey is), but among the handful of truly great songs, “Grand Canyon” stood out above the rest. As I looked online to find the full quote of my favorite lyric, I realized the whole song is a string of beautiful lines. “Down among the heretics, the losers, and the saints / You are here amongst your own / You’ve come home.” It’s a welcoming of unconditional love set to a disco beat, a misfit call to the dancefloor.

Also check out: “Hello There” by collaborator Cagedbaby (in fact, check out pretty much anything by Cagedbaby, it’s all good)

15

Damage

Tiefschwarz featuring Tracey Thorn

Eat Books (2005)

To tide fans over between the last EBTG album and her solo release, Tracey Thorn lent her vocals to this song from indie-synth act Tiefschwarz in 2005. The song hit the sweet-spot of being darkly electronic without losing its emotional core, with the bassline sneaking in on the chorus to underscore the bitterness.”I was always there / but you never chose to care … damage / in a lonely place.” Break-ups are hard, but it’s even harder when you realize it was actually easy for the other person. This song deals with the pain of giving your heart to someone, only to learn later that they never even noticed.

(Unfortunately I could not find embeddable audio of the superior original version of the song online anywhere – but you can hear a 30 second sample at last.fm)

Also check out: BT featuring JC Chasez’s “The Force of Gravity” — a trancier version of love lost.