Album Review: Everything But The Girl – Fuse

EBTG return after two long decades away with something way better than partying like it's still 1999

The last time lo-fi dance duo Everything But The Girl had a new album to talk about, it was 1999. For the longest time, Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt, who are partners in life as well as in music, made it clear that particular bit of their partnership was done and dusted. 

They didn’t sit idle in the years in-between – both recorded and released solo albums, both wrote and published critically-acclaimed memoirs, and they both continued to collaborate with other artists, as they had throughout their career. They were busy with other projects, until, at the start of 2021, Thorn and Watt, like the rest of the world, had to put their plans on hold as we were plunged into lockdown. Suddenly with time on their hands, the pair began to write together again, and Everything But The Girl was quietly reborn. 

Everything But The Girl - Run A Red Light

In just about every interview before release, both Watt and Thorn have been keen to stress that this is neither a lockdown record in its feel or inspiration, nor is it a throwback, something trying to ape the days when their hit ‘Missing’ ruled the charts. And they’re as good as their word. 

Fuse is a soulful pop record, one that’s deeply in love with dance music, but also has a warmth and tenderness that comes from it truly being two people in a room, rather than an army of writers and producers. ‘Run A Red Light’ is a disco-inspired gem while opener ‘Nothing Left To Lose’ is as delicate a club banger as you will hear. 

It doesn’t have the slick feel and Day-Glo colours of much of the dance and EDM that has flourished in the years since Everything But The Girl stopped making albums, but that’s just as well. This is a tender, delicate thing to be treasured. 

Released: 21 April 2023
Label: Buzzin’ Fly
On Tour: TBC