Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
>Everything but the Girl
THE WAITING GAME
Patience may be a virtue, but this is ridiculous. Not only did Everything but the Girl have to wait 12 years before scoring their first Top 10 U.S. hit with "Missing," but a year went by between the release of that single—a pumped-up dance version of a languid ballad from the British duo's 1994 Amplified Heart CD—and the start of its chart ascent last fall. Glad to have a hit at last, vocalist Tracey Thorn and musician Ben Watt, both 33, are already focusing on completing a new, more beat-driven album. "I would totally understand if we took a dip," says Watt warily. "We can't expect to sustain these kinds of giddy heights."
Do you feel resentful that it took a dance remix to break through?
Watt: Not at all. We decided when we were writing it that we didn't want to record a definitive version. We were aware that it had that four-on-the-floor type beat. Within minutes of finishing, we were on the phone trying to commission alternative versions. In a strange way it's all gone to plan. Of course, I'm surprised that it has happened in such a spectacular fashion.
What keeps your collaboration ticking?
Thorn: We have different perspectives, so it's not as though we compete for the same role. It's more complementary than that.
Watt: I have a greater interest in instrumental music and production, sitting in the studio and listening to drum tracks over and over. Tracey's interest is in vocal delivery and the song. She prefers to spend as little time in the studio as possible and has a much more instinctive approach to music. I can put in the hours, and then Tracey can say it's terrible.
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