Tracey Thorn

Thorn's self-portrait in a mirrorTracey Thorn is an English singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly three decades. She is probably best known as being one half of the highly acclaimed duo Everything but the Girl. She lives in London with her husband and three children, and has recently finished recording her third solo album.

TMN: There was about 25 years between the release of your first and second solo albums. Now, two years after “Out of the Woods,” we’re getting another. Why are we so lucky?

Tracey Thorn: Well, in between the release of the first and second solo albums there was a 25-year gap, but it was filled with nine Everything but the Girl albums, so it’s not like I was doing nothing for all that time. It works out at about an album every two to three years, so in fact, not much has changed.

TMN: What can we expect of the new album in terms of sound and style?

TT: It’s a much more acoustic record than “Out of the Woods.” It’s very simple in arrangement. I deliberately wanted to work with a more limited palette this time, and try to create a more consistent mood rather than being as all-inclusive as on the last record. So it’s not such a poppy record, and there’s a move away from programming and from the dancefloor.

TMN: Is Everything but the Girl likely to come off hiatus any time soon?

TT: My answer is still I don’t know. I think Ben and I both enjoy now having a bit of separate creative space after all those years of sharing that space with each other.

TMN: What’s something you’re not good at but wish you were?

TT: Driving (I’m so bad I haven’t driven for 20 years). Swimming.

TMN: What other artists or movements have inspired or influenced the new album?

TT: I can’t answer this question. It’s not how I think. Reviewers point out influences; they’re never conscious.

TMN: What’s changed about your creative process since becoming a mother?

TT: It used to be a continuous thing; now it has huge holes in it. Months and months go by where the “creative process” does not exist for me. Then, thankfully, it reappears from time to time.

Thorn's self-portrait in a mirrorTMN: What’s your favorite object in your workspace?

TT: My little reed organ, bought for almost nothing on eBay. I write songs on it and they all sound like hymns.

TMN: On your MySpace blog, you recently announced getting married earlier this year after a “27-year engagement.” Why did you decide that this was the right time?

TT: Like many things in our life, it was a somewhat random decision, made on impulse. You know what they say, “marry in haste, repent at leisure.” Let’s hope we don’t regret being so reckless.

TMN: If you could change one law, what would it be?

TT: Well, I’d certainly be tougher on homeopathy.

TMN: What’s the best advice you’d give to your childhood self?

TT: Take up yoga. You have back problems ahead, and it’s never too soon.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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