Tracey Thorn just revealed her new single “Queen,” the first song to be taken from her first solo album of entirely original material in seven years. Titled Record, it will be released on March 2.
Watch the Carol Morley-directed video for “Queen” now, and pre-order the album on CD and smoky red Peak Vinyl in the Merge store, where each format can be bundled with a beautiful full-color Tracey Thorn zine featuring 20 pages of handwritten lyrics and photos from the recording sessions. The record is also available for pre-order through your preferred independent record store and digital music service.
Watch & share the music video for Tracey Thorn’s “Queen” now
Describing “Queen,” Tracey says: “It’s a great opener for the album. Driven along by Ewan Pearson’s unashamedly glittering electro-pop production, and drums and bass from Warpaint’s Stella and Jenny, it features me playing electric guitar for the first time in a while, and singing my heart out.”
As ever, the personal has often been political in Tracey Thorn’s work. “Nine feminist bangers,” Tracey jokes when asked to describe Record. If this album is in part about freedom and disenthrallment, new single “Queen” is the opening broadside, all personal fire and desire. Her voice, self-assured and richly textured yet confessional and affecting, spits out the lyrics on Record with a fresh, compelling drive and remains one of the finest female pop voices of the last four decades.
“I think I’ve always written songs which chronicle the milestones of a woman’s life,” she says. “Different ages and stages, different realities not often discussed in pop lyrics. If 2010’s Love and Its Opposite was my mid-life album—full of divorce and hormones—then Record represents that sense of liberation that comes in the aftermath, from embarking on a whole new ‘no fucks given’ phase of life.”
On Record, the synth-driven tracks arrive and leave with a punchy sub-three-minute directness. “I wanted it to be a record you’d listen to in the daytime,” Tracey says. “On your headphones or on the move. Not necessarily in the evening, or in your bedroom.” For all its no-fuss pop brevity, the album rotates around “Sister,” a dubby nine-minute Compass Point-style disco jam where Tracey is joined again by Warpaint’s rhythm section and glorious backing vocals from Corinne Bailey Rae.
Across four decades, Tracey’s songs and writing have offered up a clear-eyed woman’s view of the immediate world around her, from the acerbic teen love songs of her first early-eighties band Marine Girls, through sixteen years as one half of articulate multi-million-selling duo Everything But The Girl, to her recent acclaimed memoirs and journalism.