Songs in the Key of Strife

Death, Sex & Money

By WNYC Studios

Songs in the Key of Strife

Wednesday, 11 February

Teddy Thompson was six years old when his parents, English folk rockers Richard and Linda Thompson, split up. The breakup coincided with the release of the duo's most successful album. They were on tour together as their marriage dissolved. 

That same year, Teddy's sister Kami was born. "Kami was a symbol of divorce to me," Teddy told me during our conversation. "I just remember having a vague notion that there was a big change and Kami was a part of the big change. Something was lost and something was gained." 

The siblings didn't spend a lot of time together as kids, due to their age difference. But they both grew up to be musicians. Teddy and Kami recently reunited with their parents to record an album aptly titled Family. It includes deeply personal songs about the inner workings of the Thompson clan -- even though both Teddy and Kami say talking directly about their relationships with each other hasn't exactly been a family tradition. This became evident during our conversation: Teddy told me he started the project because he was craving more closeness with his family. For Kami, it was more straightforward. “A gig’s a gig,” she said. 

Richard Thompson, along with Teddy and Kami as children. (Courtesy of the Thompson family)


Hear the siblings perform two songs live in our studio, along with their nephew Zak Hobbs. Thank you to Irene Trudel, who engineered this session. 

The Thompsons - I Long For Lonely  

The Thompsons - Family  

Read a full transcript of this interview here

Heart UK