Beloved UK dance pop duo Everything But the Girl shocked fans on Tuesday morning (Jan. 10) when they announced that their first album in 24 years, Fuse, will drop on April 21. The good news about the 10-track album was accompanied by the collection’s first single, the bouncy, jazzy burner “Nothing Left to Lose.”
The surprise from “Missing” duo producer/singer Ben Watt and vocalist Tracey Thorn marked the pair’s return to the spotlight after going on an indefinite hiatus in 2000. “Ironically the finished sound of the new album was the last thing on our mind when we started in March 2021,” Thorn said in a statement about the project written and produced by the duo over the spring and summer of 2021.
“Of course, we were aware of the pressures of such a long-awaited comeback, so we tried to begin instead in a spirit of open-minded playfulness, uncertain of the direction, receptive to invention,” she added. The album is described as a “modern take on the lustrous electronic soul” the band pioneered in the mid-1990s, with Watt’s “glimmering landscape of sub-bass, sharp beats, half-lit synths and empty space” bumping up against Thorn’s “affecting and richly textured” vocals.
The album was recorded in secret at home and a small riverside studio outside Bath, England with their friend/engineer Bruno Ellingham behind the boards. “It was exciting. A natural dynamism developed. We spoke in short-hand, and little looks, and co-wrote instinctively,” said Watt in the statement about the sound that focused on “ambient sound montages and improvised spectral piano loops” recorded by Watt on his iPhone at home during the pandemic lockdown. “It became more than the sum of our two selves. It just became Everything But The Girl on its own’.
What began small then grew into the finished product that also inspired the new album’s title. “After so much time apart professionally, there was both a friction and a natural spark in the studio when we began,” said Thorn. “However much we underplayed it at the start, it was like a fuse had been lit. And it ended in a kind of coalescence, an emotional fusion. It felt very real and alive.”
After forming in Kingston Upon Hull in 1982 Thorn and Watt scored four top 10 singles in the UK, including their signature song, “Missing,” which hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to a beloved Todd Terry remix. The couple, who married in 2009, released solo material during their hiatus, including four albums from Thorn, a movie soundtrack for The Falling and four non-fiction books and three solo albums from Watt.
See the full track list and watch the “Nothing Left to Lose” video below.
Fuse track ilst:
“Nothing Left to Lose”
“Run a Red Light”
“Caution to the Wind”
“When You Mess Up”
“Time and Time Again”
“No One Knows We’re Dancing”