Everything But The Girl on affecting vocals: “From day one, we were going: ‘We have to fuck up my voice'”

“It’s one of the key signatures of the band, so it was the most fun thing.”

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Everything But The Girl

Image: AJ Barratt/ Avalon/ Getty Images

Consider yourself warned that the upcoming album by musical duo Everything But The Girl is an exercise in ‘fucking up the vocals’ — that is, processing singer Tracey Thorn’s iconic vocals.

The pair recently sat down with The Guardian, where they spoke about pulling the plug on EBTG 24 years ago, their soon-to-be-released (21 April) record, and everything in between.

Explaining that Fuse had emerged amidst the band’s inexplicable need to ‘fuck up the vocals’, lead singer Tracey Thorn says “From day one, we were going: ‘We have to fuck up my voice’.”

“We were desperate to fuck up my voice. It’s one of the key signatures of the band, so it was the most fun thing.”

Ben Watt, the second half to EBTG, adds that “The idea of using Tracey’s voice as just another thread in the tapestry became really interesting to me because we have this reputation of: don’t mess with the voice! — that it’s sacred.”

“But we just thought: well, why?”

Picking up where 1999’s Temperamental left off, Fuse has enlisted the help of effects to render Thorn’s voice, their most celebrated musical asset, virtually unrecognisable.

For those familiar with the EBTG brand— not least their veritably eclectic discography, such musical bravado would hardly come as a surprise given the duo’s tendency to err on the riskier side of things when it comes to music-making.

From their bossa nova-esque debut album Eden to their eventual explosion as Techno stars in the electronic scene, Everything But The Girl were never one for colouring inside the lines.

When asked if Fuse is a one-off thing or a sign of more to come, Thorn replied candidly that even the band themselves have no idea.

“Without wishing to get all mindful on you, we’re trying to be very present,” she says. “Because we’re never going to have this moment again, that air of surprise.”

“No one knew we were doing it; we didn’t know we were doing an EBTG record at first. So that’s a great feeling.”

As Thorn puts, fans will just have to “see what happens”.

Check out the first single from Fuse, Nothing Left To Lose, below.


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