Everything But the Girl, back, but apart

18 02 2010

Though still happily partnered with kids, Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl haven’t put out and EBTG record since 1999’s sublime Tempermental. Ben’s been busy being a DJ, club-owner, and record label mogul with his Buzzin’ Fly franchise. And Tracey’s been raising the kids for the most part with the exception of her solo album, Out of the Woods in ’07. With 25 years between that album and her first, pre-EBTG, solo album and a decade since their last collaboration, who thought she’d crank out another CD so soon. But recently, she announced her next album, Love and It’s Opposite, would be out soon.
Just yesterday, she was kind enough to make the first single, “Oh the Divorces”, a gorgeous, stripped down ballad lamenting all her favorite couples breaking up, FREE for download on her site. A heart wrenching and sadly true tune, you can tell Tracey’s really feeling this one hard.

And then, out of the blue, I see Ben’s set to release a new track as well with Julia Biel called “Bright Star.” Predictably housey but surprisingly rather Bjorky, Bright Star sounds like it belongs on an updated version of Bjork’s Debut. ┬áListen to the new track HERE as part of one of his DJ set radio shows.

But my question is, if Tracey’s writing and recording, and Ben’s writing and recording, why on earth can’t these two just do an EBTG CD together. Seems odd. But now we get double the material, so I shouldn’t complain.

Ben’s single comes out next week in the UK, while Tracey’s album comes out May 18th her in the US on Merge, for whom Tracey just contributed a track to the Merge anniversary album, Score!, with Jens Lekman.

The Vault: Bliss and The Cure

3 11 2009

I know we threatened to make The Vault a regular post, but quite frankly got a bit lazy, focusing on the podcast (hope you’re all enjoying it!). And quite frankly this one had me confused as to how to go about posting it:


As that crappy Dove Chocolate commercial announces, its Bliss. Bliss. The band. How do we explain them. Well, for one, they’re damned hard to research. As we’ve talked about in 2 successive podcasts, picking a good name that is easily “Googleable” is key. Bliss. No. Upon searching the world wide interweb, you come up with the following:

  1. Bliss, a┬áScandinavian┬áchillout 3 pc. very similar to Zero 7 complete with vocals by Sophie (I’m no Sia) Barker. Put out a great CD a few years ago called Quiet Letters.
  2. Bliss, a horrible female rapper from the US
  3. Bliss, a more horrible white male rapper, also US
  4. Bliss, the mexian pop band
  5. Bliss, the Canadian all male 4 pc. from the 90’s
  6. Bliss, the generic 90’s new age outfit

rachel_morrison1And finally the band I was hot for, Bliss, the UK band led by Rachel Morrison. Bliss was only around in force for about 3 years in the late 80’s/early 90’s, riding in on a wave of sophisticated female led acts like Everything But the Girl, Swing Out Sister, Matt Bianco, and Julie Fordham, before Rachel started a family. Not very big in the UK or US, but they did chart in the Germany and New Zealand. I found their German EP, Watching Over Me in the $1 bin at Now Hear This in St Louis in 1991. It was back in the day when I bought CDs based on album cover and this was my type of find. Stark, black and white photo of a sad girl with a B-side of The Cure’s Love Song. Jackpot! Now, I’d like to share this VERY rare gem with you. Don’t think your speakers are disconnected. Its starts of very very quiet, but then really builds. Rachel is a vocal powerhouse. Borderline manly at times a la Cher or Horse. And when she sings I Will Always Love You, you believe it!

Love Song (right click to download)

First Wendy & Lisa, now…

28 09 2009

Ingrid Chavez makes the blog. single-cover-fullNot as well known as Wendy and Lisa, but Ingrid has a similar claim to fame as she was the muse/love interest in Prince’s Purple Rain follow-up, Graffiti Bridge.

See the trailer here if you dare

She first made her mark at the uncredited breathy vocalist on his Lovesexy Read the rest of this entry »