The result is ‘Out Of Woods’. Musically it is a snapshot of so much music she has ever been into and about, capturing moments of late seventies disco, pastoral folk-psychedelica, dance floor pop bliss and stark balladry.
Her prime collaborator became Ewan Pearson, whose peerless track record in contemporary clubland has led from early work for leading techno label, Soma, to his current status of remixer-du-jour (Goldfrapp, Pet Shop Boys) from his home base in Berlin, although Tracey would assure you it was their soon-discovered shared love of Dusty Springfield and Rufus Wainwright that clinched it! He has produced seven of the eleven tracks.
Meanwhile, veteran English house producer, Charles Webster, contributes a beautiful flutes ‘n’ flugels arrangement to ‘Nowhere Near’. Brighton’s Tom Gandey aka Cagedbaby brings two co-writes of signature kaleidoscopic electro-pop. Berlin-via-York’s Martin Wheeler aka Vector Lovers shares credits on ‘Easy’ with his cinematic splinters of future-techno. Alex Santos from Lisbon’s Darkmountaingroup (from Watt’s own Buzzin’ Fly record label) adds deep minimal House to ‘Grand Canyon’ and Ewan Pearson teams up with Metro Area’s Darshan and Mood Music’s Sasse Lindblad to help co-write the music to the single ‘It’s All True’.
But the heartbeat to the record is Thorn herself, her voice dipping and climbing into beautiful new vocal ranges (‘Here It Comes Again’) or knitting the arrangements together with a plethora of rare musical performances on guitar, piano, Nico-inspired harmonium and Omnichord, and with the exception of the album’s one cover version ‘Get Around To It’ by cult New York art-disco-cellist Arthur Russell (featuring some wonky freakout sax by Gabe of The Rapture) the rich and sharp lyrics and melodies are all hers.
It may have been twenty-four years, but a modern follow-up to ‘A Distant Shore’ is finally here.