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Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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A thrilling, revelatory debut, Tindersticks is a chamber pop masterpiece of romantic elegance and gutter debauchery. Within the framework of a remarkably consistent and mesmerizingly dank atmosphere, the group covers a stunning amount of ground -- "Her" is a crashing flamenco number, "The Walt Blues" is a tipsy organ instrumental, and "Paco de Renaldo's Dream" is an impenetrable cinematic monologue punctuated by subdued guitars, pianos, and strings. Stuart Staples' bacchanalian songs are obsessed with fluids, both bodily ("Blood," "Jism") and otherwise ("Nectar," "Whiskey and Water," "Raindrops"); no topic is too personal or too disturbing -- "Piano Song" is frightening in its callousness, while "City Sickness" is an unflinching examination of emotional and physical desperation. Fascinatingly constructed and strikingly ambitious, Tindersticks is insidiously labyrinthine: the music speaks softly but carries tremendous weight, and its hold grows more and more unbreakable with each listen. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 2019 | City Slang

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 20, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 22, 2016 | City Slang

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 14, 2016 | Lucky Dog

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2019 | City Slang

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 27, 2008 | Beggars Banquet

If you were of the opinion that Tindersticks may have gone through some kind of drastic sea change brought on by their five-year hiatus and the absence of founding member and co- architect of their trademark sound, Dickon Hinchliffe, you are dead wrong. The band weathered the storm and on their seventh studio album, The Hungry Saw, the three remaining members of the band retain every last aspect of what made the band special (the inventive arrangements, the cinematic sweep of the songs, Stuart Staples' distinctive vocals) but also manage to sound rejuvenated and fresh at the same time. The last album they made before their split, Waiting for the Moon, seemed like it was just another in a long line of excellent releases by the band. The Hungry Saw is hungrier, more dramatic, and if not exactly urgent, it feels like the work of a band with something to prove. Staples, in particular, brings something extra to both his vocals (clearer than usual and with more bite) and lyrics ("The Hungry Saw" has some of his most powerfully visceral words to date). It is one of his best performances in a long career full of them. The arrangements too are given extra care. The horn arrangements by longtime associate Terry Edwards are superb and the strings sound rich and suitably dramatic on the heavy ballads and breezy on the light ones. The addition of Suzanne Osborne's wordless backing vocals on the lovely and harrowing "All the Love" are a welcome touch of sunshine too. As is the candy sweet melody and acoustic strum of the almost poppy "Boobar Come Back to Me." Not that the record is a smile fest by any stretch, there is still enough chill blowing through it to make your teeth hurt. It wouldn't be a Tindersticks record without that, and songs like "The Other Side of This World" and "Mother Dear" have enough sadness coursing through them to satisfy the needs of any gloom junky who has come to count on the band for a quick fix. Indeed, Tindersticks have never failed to satisfy anyone looking not only for sadness but also those looking for albums that make you feel and songs that will stick with you for a long time. The Hungry Saw is classic Tindersticks. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 20, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 11, 2013 | Lucky Dog

One has to wonder at the motivation behind Tindersticks' Across Six Leap Years. This look back celebrates their 21st anniversary. That said, after their hiatus in 2006, they returned as a trio instead of a sextet, with guest musicians augmenting each record beginning with The Hungry Saw. These ten tracks were recorded at Abbey Road. Half of them date from the previous century; two more are pre-split, and only one, the closer "What Are You Fighting For," is post; it appeared as a Record Store Day single. It allegedly receives a revisioning here, though one would have to A-B the versions to tell. This highlights the problem with ASLY. The two openers, "Friday Night" and "Marseilles Sunshine," are pre-split cuts, but they first appeared on Stuart Staples' 2005 debut solo effort, Lucky Dog Recordings. Their placement here reveals the often bland nature of these re-recordings -- they remain so close to the original arrangements they merely retread the floorboards with slightly more polish and greater fidelity. The same goes for "A Night In," which originally appeared on the band's second album in 1995. Since Tindersticks is literally half the size of the group that first cut it, it would stand to reason that this leaner machine would compensate with a different chart. Three tracks are marked exceptions. "If You're Looking for a Way Out," a cover of Tindersticks' cover of an Odyssey track that appeared on Simple Pleasure, is looser, more fluid, and more transparent in its connection to '70s-era, East Coast -- i.e. Philly -- soul. "Sleepy Song," whose first version is also from their second album, is performed here with far more tension and drama. The spirit of restraint in its original gives way, and the roiling menace underneath is allowed to surface and breathe as the song's dynamic expands. "Say Goodbye to the City," from Waiting for the Moon, is louder and marginally more uptempo, but the increased drama via the bleating trumpet fills and solo, and the strident female backing chorus coming from the pocket, elevate it. There isn't anything inherently "wrong" with the music on Across Six Leap Years. But given the triumphant The Something Rain from 2012, the retrospective box of Clair Denis film scores issued later that year, and the release of the Salauds score earlier in 2013, this feels more like a shoulder shrug than an anniversary celebration. Perhaps "for hardcore fans only" should be printed on a sticker on the sleeve -- if not stamped on the cover. ~ Thom Jurek
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 2003 | Beggars Banquet

The fact that Waiting for the Moon isn't much more than another addition to Tindersticks' discography will be enough to keep the devout fans pleased. At this stage in the band's existence, it is mightily impressive that a mediocre record has yet to slip out of the den. However, neither this nor Can Our Love... threatens, at any point, to rival Simple Pleasure -- let alone anything that preceded it. Apart from the increased vocal presence of arranger and multi-instrumentalist Dickon Hinchcliffe, who provides a much-needed bittersweetness to counter Stuart Staples' familiar warble, there's not much to add apart from the fact that numerous dimensions from the band's past are sprinkled throughout. So, even more so than before, the casual fans will have difficulty pinning down the minor differences and developments that distinguish this album from the one that came before it. "Say Goodbye to the City," similar to the most fiery moments of the band's first record, builds a dramatic, storming rush of rumbling rhythm, blaring guitars, droning strings, and demented Tijuana brass. Just the same, "4.48 Psychosis" is a noisily agitated spoken word piece that gleans from Sarah Kane's same-named play. Though "Sometimes It Hurts," an elegant duet with Lhasa de Sala, makes the album seem all the more like a trip through the past, the still-present soul influences that ran through the previous two albums seem more like a logical extension. Few bands can get away with being in a holding pattern like Tindersticks. When they remain this potent -- indicated from the very first lines of the album, "My hands 'round your throat/If I kill you now, well, they'll never know" -- it's all but impossible to wish for the band's end. ~ Andy Kellman
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 17, 2012 | Lucky Dog

The Something Rain, Tindersticks' ninth album, stubbornly holds fast to the group's branded, nocturnal avant-pop, one that holds within it everything from elegantly textured electronics and touches of jazz to cabaret, chanson, and melancholy indie pop. Vocalist Stuart Staples' signature dulcet baritone is as haunting as ever: it shivers almost constantly atop a mix that contains everything from carefully layered keyboards, bowed bass and cellos to spidery guitars, vibes, minimal drum kits, reeds, and loops. That Tindersticks' sonic universe is so carefully attended and guarded doesn't mean there isn't growth or daring -- this is the most urgent and erotically chargerd recording they've made in over a decade -- it's just that it's (mostly) very subtle. The album opens with the nine-minute "Chocolate." The music is a soundtrack accompanying a spoken word vocal by David Boulter. He relates a narrative with a startling punch line. Saxophones, acoustic guitars, glockenspiel, bass, piano, and organ all shimmer and slip beneath his calm exterior delivery. It's a rather brave way to open any recording. "This Fire of Autumn" is uncharacteristically uptempo , driven by bass and guitars, with an organ and other keys shifting through the backdrop and highlighting a snare. The shock comes on the refrain, where Staples' protagonist is propelled ever forward into the possibility of a particularly dangerous, consumptive, love affair. As if to accentuate this, a female backing chorus in full lounge-R&B croon à la Leonard Cohen haunts the refrain. "A Night So Still," with its cheap drum machine loops, reverbed guitars, and keyboards is nonetheless powerful. So purposefully restrained is its seductive narrative, it creates a nearly unbearable tension. "Medicine," the single, is a languid, velvety ballad. It's a fine contrast to the proceeding cut; "Frozen" could have been remixed by a '90s-era drum'n'bass producer, its gently dissonant saxophones and smoky, down-in-the-mix vocal by Staples would make it a great 12". "Come Inside," with its gently undulating Rhodes piano, evokes the tender atmospherics of jazz pianist Hampton Hawes' Universe album. The set closes once more in soundtrack mode with "Goodbye Joe," an instrumental that directly evokes Ennio Morricone's spaghetti westerns. The Something Rain's grace, elegance, and beauty, are enhanced throughout by its quiet daring and spirit of chance. ~ Thom Jurek
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 21, 2001 | Beggars Banquet

A new label and a renewed sense of collaboration between the members of one of England's finest resulted in Can Our Love..., the loosest record yet in Tindersticks' decade-long existence. Here, they've lost all remaining self-consciousness. The listener is all the better for it. This lack of self-consciousness is the good kind -- the kind derived from locking into place and letting things come naturally, chucking any degree of preconception out of the window. Between the spare instrumentation, crepuscular tempos, and somber coursing of Stuart Staples' voice throughout "Can Our Love" and "No Man in the World," one wouldn't have to be too inebriated to mistake parts of the album for Sam Cooke's Night Beat played at the wrong speed. On "People Keep Comin' Around," perhaps their best moment yet, it sounds as if they heard the Doors' "Riders on the Storm" and decided to speed up the tempo a notch and strip away the false dramatics, fashioning it into a seven-minute pearl custom fit for '70s soul radio. "Chilitetime" may not be a medley containing parts of "Have You Seen Her?" or "Are You My Woman?," but it's another extended slow dazzle warbler that doesn't outstay its welcome. And if "Dying Slowly" and "Don't Ever Get Tired" ring of garden variety quality, you're taking them for granted. There's no use in going into further detail -- all the proper ingredients are in full effect. ~ Andy Kellman
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 10, 2019 | City Slang

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 16, 2012 | Lucky Dog

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 25, 2010 | 4AD

After eighteen years, they still soldier on... After a somewhat revised version of Tindersticks broke their five-year recording silence with 2008's The Hungry Saw, it took less than two years for the group (again with a few modifications to the lineup) to compound that successful return with another new album -- their eighth overall -- which stands as perhaps even more of an achievement and pleasant surprise than its very fine predecessor. While Saw offered a few rare glimmers of positivity and sweetness from Stuart Staples and company, it was essentially business as usual for the perennially moody Britons. Falling Down a Mountain isn't exactly a major reinvention, either, but it does back up the golden-hued sky gracing its cover with some of their most upbeat and optimistic songs to date (keep in mind those are relative terms), and a liberal extension of the looseness they've been gradually settling into since 1999's Simple Pleasure. The six-and-a-half minute title track is immediately striking, with its simmering, asymmetrical, jazzy groove buoying a hypnotically simple vocal riff and some uninhibited soloing from trumpeter Terry Edwards. "Harmony Around My Table" is a bouncy soul-pop number that might hardly be recognizable as Tindersticks if not for Staples' inimitable quavering baritone (as always, an acquired taste, like fine wine), while the low-key lovers' duet "Peanuts" sports a charmingly simple, slightly silly lyric, and the twinkling ballad "Keep You Beautiful," though a typically mellow affair, is uncharacteristically, almost achingly sweet. Elsewhere, the album takes on a vaguely Western tinge (again echoing the dusty cover landscape), with the galloping, lustful "She Rode Me Down," Edwards' lonesome flügelhorn on the Morricone-esque instrumental "Hubbard Hills," and the gritty, downright driving "Black Smoke." Eventually -- this being Tindersticks, after all -- the darkness does creep in: the deceptively buoyant "No Place So Alone" seethes with the jealousy of a jilted lover, and by the penultimate "Factory Girls," we find Staples brooding alone, doused in melancholy, feebly asserting that "it's the wine that makes me sad, not the love I never had." It's a typically mournful, typically lovely Tindersticks moment, made all the more exquisite here in contrast to the increased stylistic range that came before it. Sometimes, it just takes a slight change in scenery to help you appreciate what you've always had. ~ K. Ross Hoffman
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Film Soundtracks - Released May 10, 2019 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 17, 2014 | Lucky Dog

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2003 | Beggars Banquet

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 27, 2000 | Beggars Banquet

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2000 | Beggars Banquet