Tindersticks

Tindersticks

Trouble Every Day

Beggars Banquet

Tindersticks is easily one of the finest, most idiosyncratic bands out there today, with a sound that takes in everything from psychedelic, pastoral folk to urban soul and everything in-between. Their previous regular release, Can Our Love…, easily made my best-of-the-year list for last year, and this one — a soundtrack to the controversial Claire Denis film — looks set to become another personal favorite.

A mostly instrumental album, the trademark vocals of Stuart Staples — the beautiful, murmured croon that so defines their songs — are largely absent, but all the more appreciated when it appears, and particularly so on the lovely, fragile title track. Elsewhere, there is the series of vignettes, almost, starting with “Dream” and moving through “Notre Dame,” that pulsates for a few minutes, then vanishes only to arise in fragments and motifs later on. In that matter, it’s a remarkably considered and crafted album. Even more so, perhaps, then latter-day Tindersticks album, that have seen the band moving towards a more drifting and loose quality in their music, coinciding with their ever heavier reliance on 1970s soul and funk music — though always filtered through their particular English pop-sensibilities. Here, they concentrate on creating moods to suit the images on film, more often than not by re-creating those images in music, underscoring the moments that inspired the music by revisiting them again and again.

No soundtrack can release its full potential except in conjunction with the images it strives to accompany. Tindersticks however, by their insistence on retaining the visuality of their music, go a long way towards accomplishing just that, and have made a soundtrack that takes the film to your stereo and forces you to look and to listen. A mesmerizing experience.

Beggars Banquet Records: http://www.beggars.com

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