Ben Watt

North Marine Drive/Summer into Winter

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Ben Watt's 1983 album, North Marine Drive, reached number one on the U.K. indie charts. The quiet acoustic album has jazzy melodies and rhythms throughout. Standout tracks include "Empty Bottles," "On Box Hill," and a cover of Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go." SpinART re-released the long out-of-print album and included five bonus tracks, a collaboration with composer Robert Wyatt entitled Summer into Winter. Fans of Everything But the Girl's jazz material, like the albums Acoustic or Idlewild, will obsess over North Marine Drive. Its understated presentation contains all the reflective melancholy typical of Watt's later works. The Wyatt collaboration Summer Into Winter fits well at the tail end of the album, as the moody, multi-instrumental ambience perpetuates the intimate feel while adding a haunting, ethereal quality reminiscent of trip-hop. North Marine Drive is an underappreciated gem that is essential to fans of elegant songwriting.