In the summer of 2010, Mercury Prize winners (and Everything But The Girl fans) The xx asked Tracey Thorn and her long-time partner in EBTG Ben Watt to record a track from The xx’s debut album for a special compilation the band was commissioning of covers of the album’s songs by their favorite artists.
Unfortunately, the project fell apart a few months later for numerous logistical reasons (not the least of which was the second wind breathed into the original album by the Mercury Prize victory) but not before Tracey had sung a new version of one of the album’s most beautiful songs, “Night Time.”
The track gathered dust for a few months, but it is rightfully seeing the light of day on a new EP from Tracey Thorn called Night Time, to be released on Merge on November 1.
“Night Time” was handpicked by Tracey and features Ben guesting on guitars and backing vocals (it’s the first time the two have played together on a recording in over ten years) with the drums, programming, and mix coming courtesy of Tracey’s current production collaborator Ewan Pearson (producer of both Tracey’s recent acclaimed album Love and Its Opposite and 2007’s Out of the Woods). As Tracey rearticulates Romy’s lyrics, Ben fluidly arpeggiates the original interwoven guitar lines into one seamless pass while Ewan adds crisp, fresh half-tempo drums, atmospheric misty synths, and booming bass.
“Swimming,” one of Love and Its Opposite’s most popular tracks, is also revisited on this release. Ewan buffs up and re-edits last year’s remix by then-emerging-and-now-current dance producers du jour Visionquest (Detroit’s Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, and Lee Curtiss) into a new version, with judicious new drum parts and a sparkling widescreen mix-down. Meanwhile, UK underground house legend Charles Webster adds his magic to “Swimming” too, with a beautifully percussive main mix and a rainy, autumnal dub.
Tracey Thorn’s Night Time EP will be released on Merge as a digital download on November 1. Pre-order the Night Time digital EP now in the Merge store. Also, you can pre-order Night Time on blue vinyl from Buzzin' Fly in the UK.
Night Time track listing:
1. Night Time
2. Swimming (Visionquest Remix, Ewan Pearson Re-Edit)
3. Swimming (Charles Webster Remix)
4. Swimming (Charles Webster Dub)
On November 8, Merge Records will release Extended Plays, an extensive digital compilation that includes the Night Time EP and all other bonus content that Tracey has compiled with the release of Love and Its Opposite. Pre-order Extended Plays now at iTunes.
Although there is a minimal and traditional feel to the recordings on Love And Its Opposite, the remixes and B-sides from the same period offer more experimentation and playfulness. "Taxi Cab" was recorded in an afternoon for fun. The Andre Lodemann remix of "Why Does The Wind?" is one of my favourite deep house mixes of my songs, and WALLS brought a woozy dreaminess to the reflective "Kentish Town." I love them all. A perfect companion piece to the original album.
Extended Plays 2010-2011 track listing:
1. Taxi Cab (Vampire Weekend Cover)
2. Why Does the Wind? (Ewan Pearson Radio Edit)
3. Why Does the Wind? (Morgan Geist Remix)
4. Why Does the Wind? (Michel Cleis Remix)
5. Why Does the Wind? (Andre Lodemann Remix)
6. Why Does the Wind? (Andre Lodemann Dub)
7. Swimming (Visionquest Remix)
8. Kentish Town (Walls Remix)
9. Late in the Afternoon (Blue Daisy Remix)
10. You Are a Lover (Clock Opera Remix)
11. Sister Winter (Sufjan Stevens Cover)
12. Night Time (The xx Cover)
13. Swimming (Visionquest Remix, Ewan Pearson Re-Edit)
14. Swimming (Charles Webster Remix)
15. Swimming (Charles Webster Underwater Mix)
Tracey Thorn’s Love and Its Opposite is out now on CD, LP, and digital download on Merge Records.