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LUCIE THORNE  Palomino Songs

Lucie Thorne

Lucie Thorne, joined by Hamish Stuart, performs at  Ellington Jazz Club on Thursday, August 13; Tea House Books, Denmark, on Saturday, August 15, and The White Star, Albany on Sunday, August 16.  MICHAEL SMITH reports.

Managing to corral the “funny little creatures” that are her songs into a new album, Everything Sings Tonight, Lucie Thorne and long-time musical partner, drummer, Hamish Stuart, are well-pleased with the latest batch.

“Some of the songs we’d been playing in various guises for the last year or so I suppose,” singer, songwriter and pianist Lucie Thorne explains the genesis of her latest album, Everything Sings Tonight, “and a few of them were quite well formed before we went into the studio. One of them popped out a couple of days before we started recording, and then another couple really found their shape on the fly.

“Actually the single, The Rushing Dark, I’d had that text for ages and played around with a few different versions of it, and in between takes of something else, Hamish started playing this groove…”

“And it was actually the most appropriate setting for that song that we’d come up with, really,” drummer Hamish Stuart finishes, “and it made it onto the record. It’s good that things can be so spontaneous.”

Spending two days in a Berlin studio while they were touring Europe last year, the pair essentially completed the new album, but, as Thorne adds, “the beauty of recording in the modern day is that can go, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to just add a little sprinkle of (The Necks’) Chris Abrahams? Or a little sprinkle of guitar from Bo Ramsey?’ whilst keeping that focus of ‘this is the sound we make in real life’, you know,” she chuckles.

Ramsey and fellow Iowan, singer/songwriter Pieta Brown added their touches in a small Iowa City studio a few weeks later. Each song has its provenance in a different place — Lasseter’s Gold in Alice Springs, and opening cut, Blackwing, in Cataract Gorge, Launceston, “after overhearing someone in a pub the night before say to his mate, ‘I’ve bought the world’s best pencil’, at which point I had to chime in and say, ‘Excuse me, did you say…?’ ‘Yeah’, he turned to me and said, ‘It’s a Palomino Blackwing 602’. It sounded like poetry! But it’s more a love song than it is about a pencil of course.”

Speaking of poetry, there’s the centrepiece (and title track) of the album, complete with a snippet from TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, in both English and Romanian…

“…that’s my dad doing the Romanian spoken word in there,” Thorne says. “We had a friend translate it into Romanian and dad learned how to recite his part from that, while Pieta’s dad Greg did the English version.”

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