Tindersticks formed in late 1991, with members Stuart Staples, Dave Boulter, Neil Fraser, Al Macauley and Dickon Hinchliffe all having previously played together as Asphalt Ribbons, changing their name when Staples discovered a box of German matches on a Greek beach. The band started recording demo tapes in 1992, and formed their own label Tippy Toe Records to release their first single, âPatchworkâ, in the same year.
Tindersticks self-titled first and second albums established their signature sound, gaining widespread critical acclaim in the process. Their live performances, often augmented by large string sections and even, on occasion, a full orchestra, were well received, as captured on live album Bloomsbury Theatre 12.3.95. By the time of their third album, Curtains, however, it was clear that a change of direction was called for, most clearly brought to pass on the lengthy âBallad of Tindersticksâ where the band took a weary swipe at the pressures of constant touring.
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 âIf You're Looking for a Way Outâ, signalled the band's wish to move towards lighter, more soulful material. Fifth album, Can Our Love, continued the band's soulful direction, as evidenced on the tender âSweet Releaseâ and in the nod to The Chi-Lites in the title of âChilitetimeâ. The sixth album, Waiting for the Moon, was more introspective in nature, particularly on the harrowing â4.48 Psychosisâ; a song based on the play of the same name by the British playwright Sarah Kane.
Following a five-year hiatus, in 2007 a stripped-down line-up of three of the original band - Staples, Boulter and Fraser - spent time writing and recording in a newly-equipped studio in Limousin, France. The resulting album, The Hungry Saw, was released on Beggars Banquet in April 2008. Signing with 4AD, the bandâs eighth long-player was released in 2010. Falling Down A Mountain came together in two studios (Le Chien Chanceux in France and ICP in Belgium) over three summer months in 2009. Very much a group effort, aided by the new ideas of fresh additions Earl Harvin and David Kitt and a rare guest vocal appearance by Mary Margaret OâHara, it shows a colourful side to Tindersticks, as echoed by lead singer Stuart Staples: âWith hindsight, The Hungry Saw now seems like an album made within the confines of what we knew; Falling Down A Mountain sees those boundaries become irrelevant.â
Following the release of Falling Down A Mountain by Tindersticks on Monday comes the video to the lead single, 'Black Smoke', directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. An MP3 of the track is still available to download from the 4AD player and by heading to previous album announcement.
The label debut from the band, Falling Down A Mountain is thei...