#287 tindersticks – black smoke

Falling Down A Mountain, the eighth album by soundtrack specialist Tindersticks, kicks off with such a resounding piece of plangent lounge jazz that must whet the appetite of longtime fans, a rekindling of the wonderfully sophisticated pop sensibility that served them so well for two decades. This veteran British band, now regrouped with new members, have had a long and fruitful working relationship with French auteur Claire Denis – one of my favorite contemporary filmmakers and I’m really dying to catch her two most recent works 35 Shots Of Rum and White Material, hopefully in the theatres someday soon in Singapore – and it was acknowledged that the process of scoring these two films may have something to do with their newfound “sense of direction”. While it’s nowhere near as powerful as the second Tindersticks album (1995) or Curtains (1997), Falling Down A Mountain delves into a range of moodily baroque musical elements with a real sense of cohesion. On the album, “Black Smoke” bursts into strummy life with a touch of wistfulness, Stuart Staples’ blighted croon sounding smooth as ever and yet richly conflicted, even if that the song’s untapped reservoir of emotions is about as obsessively mundane as a masquerade of city dwellers thinning into the lonely evening. – keith.

mp3: tindersticks – black smoke

Falling Down A Mountain is out on 4AD and Constellation.

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