Tindersticks in session. Recorded on April 23, 2008. Formed in 1991, and briefly disbanding in 2005 with the departure of founding member and lead singer Stuart Staples. They got back together in 2006 and have been gigging and recording ever since.
The core of Tindersticks was Staples; a distinctive Baritone voice tinged with soul that created an evocative atmosphere. His vocals became the trademark sound for Tindersticks, mixing Indie with Soul for a lush, yet immediate sound.
Prior to the temporary departure, Tindersticks had released some six albums as well as providing music for numerous film projects. Staples’ solo efforts yielded two solo albums before getting the band back together and issuing five more since then. As well as their eleven studio albums, the band has produced the soundtracks for six films by the French director Claire Denis, Nénette et Boni, Trouble Every Day, The Intruder, 35 Shots of Rum, White Material and Les Salauds.
Their self-titled first and second albums established their signature sound and received widespread critical acclaim. Their live performances, often augmented by large string sections and even, on occasion, a full orchestra, were well received. The live album The Bloomsbury Theatre 12.3.95 is a recording of one such concert. By the time of the third album, Curtains, however, it was clear that a change of direction was called for. The lengthy “Ballad of Tindersticks” was a weary swipe at the pressures of being a touring band.
The fourth album, Simple Pleasure, lived up to its title with a series of snappy, direct songs influenced by soul music. The female backing vocals on several tracks, and the respectful cover of Odyssey’s “If You’re Looking for a Way Out”, signalled the band’s wish to move towards lighter, more soulful material. However, the inner sleeve’s documentation of the number of takes each track went through was evidence that the band continued to adopt a painstaking approach to recording.
This session comes at the time of the release of Hungry Saw, their seventh studio album, issued some five days after this session. They also embarked on a tour of Summer festivals as well as announcing a Winter European tour that same year.
Sadly and frustratingly, Tindersticks haven’t gotten the attention over here in the States that they have elsewhere. Our loss – but thankfully, there are imports.
If you’re not familiar with them, click on the play button and check out something you might be missing.