Love And Its Opposite is a humane and truthful collection from one of our
finest singers and songwriters. It will be released on May 18 (North
America) and May 17 (Rest of the world).

After pausing an 18-year career with partner Ben Watt in best-selling altpop
duo Everything But The Girl (1982-2000), followed by a self-imposed
hiatus to start a family, Tracey Thorn re-emerged in 2007 to a wave of
critical acclaim with the glittering autobiographical folk-disco of ‘Out Of
The Woods’, her first strictly solo album since 1982's indie classic ‘A
Distant Shore’. Now she is back with another: the starkly beautiful Love
And Its Opposite on Strange Feeling Records.
Partnering again with Berlin-based producer Ewan Pearson (who worked on
much of Out of the Woods, and more recently with Delphic), Tracey has
created an album that is striking in its simplicity. Recorded in Berlin and
London, and featuring guest contributions from Hot Chip's Al Doyle, The
Invisible's Leo Taylor, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman, Nashville
songwriter-drummer Cortney Tidwell and Los Valentinos' guitarist, Jono,
Love And Its Opposite is steeped in a compassionate directness. The tight,
often undecorated arrangements for guitar, piano, bass, and drums (and a
smattering of strings and woodwinds) serve ten songs over a compact thirtynine
minutes that confront the full unvarnished weight of complex
relationships in flux.
‘It is a record about the person I am now and the people around me,’ says
Tracey. ‘About real life after forty.’
Covers of Lee Hazlewood's ‘Come On Home To Me’ (a duet with Jens Lekman)
and ‘You Are A Lover’ by Budapest's The Unbending Trees (with whom Tracey
collaborated in 2008) are added to eight originals that tackle head-on the
realities of life in its middle years: marriage and divorce (’Long White
Dress’ and ‘Oh, the Divorces!’); family ghosts (’Kentish Town’);
confronting life alone (’Singles Bar’); and the collision of youth and
adulthood (’Hormones’). In talking about ‘Why Does The Wind?’ and ‘Late in
Strange Feeling Records is an imprint of Buzzin’ Fly Records
the Afternoon,’ Tracey says, ‘Life needs stamina. Love is often either
under threat or being urged to stand the test of time.’ The album closes
with ‘Swimming’ (featuring Cortney Tidwell on drums and backing vocals). ‘I
really wanted it to be the closing track,’ she says. ‘It holds out hope for
love's survival even when it seems to be in hibernation.’
Backtracking, it is hard to find a decade recently where Tracey Thorn's
songwriting has not been influential. Often overlooked by those who choose
to focus on her uniquely sensual yet confessional voice, her direct,
unadorned stories have cut through to find many revered supporters. Fresh
out of school in the UK in the early 1980s, she formed the cult girl band
Marine Girls, whose two-album career of edgy teen love songs has influenced
lo-fi indie bands ever since. Among noted Marine Girls fans you'll find
Kurt Cobain (Nirvana was reportedly rehearsing ‘In Love’ before Cobain's
death) and The xx. In 1982, she followed it with her own eight-song
classic, ‘A Distant Shore’, which catapulted her to the top of the UK indie
charts. Throughout the 1980s, she shared writing with partner Ben Watt in
the British duo Everything But The Girl (EBTG). In the '90s, she co-wrote
EBTG's global smash ‘Missing’ before delivering lyrics, melody, and vocals
for one of the decade's seminal ballads, Massive Attack's ‘Protection,’ and
contributing centrally to EBTG's best-selling electronica crossover albums
Walking Wounded and Temperamental. In 2006, she returned to the dance
floor, writing ‘Damage’ for cult German duo Tiefschwarz before releasing
Out of the Woods in 2007.
Love And Its Opposite also signals Tracey's return to the independent scene
and unites her in a fresh alliance with longtime partner Ben Watt. Granted
leave of absence from Virgin/EMI, she will see the album released on Ben's
Strange Feeling Records (alt-pop sister imprint to his more famous dance
label Buzzin’ Fly) where she joins labelmates such as The Unbending Trees
and Copenhagen's Figurines. Meanwhile, in North America, Merge Records (The
Arcade Fire, Magnetic Fields, M Ward) will release the album, making Tracey
one of only a handful of UK artists to have graced the illustrious
Stateside independent.
Despite spending time out of the public eye, Tracey has been keen to stay
engaged with her fans via MySpace, Facebook and Twitter where she now
corresponds daily, posting photos of her garden and providing mixtapes,
Spotify playlists and casual observation on everything from politics to X
Factor, all with a dry, laconic sense of humor that has endeared her to
many new followers.