Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Distant Shore - Tracey Thorn

Cindy Jacobson. Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.
I guess I'm one of those dreamy, beach walking types. Sometimes I'll ride my motorcycle to the Golden Gate Bridge, then go down Lincoln Avenue along the Pacific coast. I'll stop at Baker Beach or that little China Beach, which is always pretty quiet. Whenever I ride down to Carmel, where they have a beautiful beach with white sand, I always stop at this place called Pelican Point. It's near Half Moon Bay. It's not a really incredible beach or anything, but there's hardly ever anyone there. You can stand on a bluff that overlooks the ocean. Ever since I was a little girl I've always liked the sea and fog. Whenever I hear a foghorn out on San Francisco bay I just get all warm and dreamy. It makes me feel, I don't know, my friend Autumn says, "safe." I like that word.

One of my favorite albums is Tracey Thorn's A Distant Shore, which came out in 1982. She expresses so much about the way I feel about being in a relationship. My favorite song is "Seascape" which is the dreamy, long walks on the beach song. I just love the line, "thought I knew the sea and all its secrets too." After A Distant Shore Tracey formed a band called Everything But The Girl with her boyfriend Ben Watt. They have four albums out now. I haven't liked everything they've done, just a few scattered songs here and there. But their new album, Idlewild, is their best so far. On "These Early Days" Tracey sings about the difference between being a small child when you unknowingly live in a world that seems safe (there's that word again) and being an adult when you know better. I know "These Early Days" is sentimental and mushy, but to me it's like hearing a foghorn at night when I'm all alone. It makes me feel safe. Like a child feels with his mother. I like living in a world where we have things like beaches and foghorns and people like Ben and Tracey who can express my feelings in music.

Album Network, April 15, 1988
Tracey Thorn released a great solo album, Out of the Woods, in 2007.

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