Horns II

I consider this my second post about great horn sections (my oblique reference to Diana Ross’s “Sunny Boy” is the first, though I didn’t name it appropriately at the time). Unlike Diana Ross, the English group Everything But The Girl work only intermittently with horns, but they still managed to attach some killer brass to the song “Each And Everyone,” from their 1984 debut album Eden. Everything But The Girl contained Ben Watt, who had recorded sparingly before the band got off the ground, and his more famous partner (and future wife) Tracey Thorne, who was fresh off releasing two albums with the Marine Girls — a group specializing in vague, simple, 60s-indebted pop, of the sort that’s been popular lately for bands like Best Coast or Dum-Dum Girls — and a short, honest solo album, A Distant Shore. Thorne’s previous work was spare and strictly guitar-oriented, but Watt brought a different set of tools to their collaboration. In “Each And Everyone,” the guitar carries the melody, but horns work to build a thick, solid foundation. Often the whispiness of samba or bossa nova becomes part of its appeal; a beautiful tune like “Girl From Ipanema” feels so fragile that if you sneeze too loudly you might blow the whole thing away, so you have to treasure it carefully. But the horns on “Each And Everyone” announce a sturdy and long-lasting groove. You can leave this one for a while, and it’ll still be there when you return.

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