It's been eight years since Everything But The Girl released "Temperamental", and in those eight years the music has grown and changed and deepened. Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt are adults making music for adults, and much like Joni Mitchell's best music, you don't - you can't - understand all of what they're trying to do in a single listen.
Eight years is a long time between relaeasing albums. Thorn's been mother to the three Watt-Thorn children, while Watt's been producing music, running a record label, and DJing. Watt's music has been engaging and deeply funky, and his live DJ work is unfailing in getting people to dance.
Sometime in the last couple of years Thorn started making music again -- first -- first as a vocalist for Tiefschwartz, then on her own..
Her new album, "Out of the Woods" doesn't disappoint. Thorn and her primary producer Ewan Peterson choose from a broad pallet of sonic timbre and arrangements that fill out and frame Thorn's adult and painterly lyrics. The embellishments -- the strings on "Here it comes again," the pitch modified bass and the clinking glass percussion on "Grand Canyon" hint at how you might think about a song -- only to surprise you. And Thorn's voice and performance are stronger and more confident than ever. She's more a master now than she's ever before been.