Tindersticks – Distractions (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Tindersticks – Distractions (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 46:47 minutes | 972 MB | Genre: Indie Rock, Chamber Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © City Slang

This is the thirteenth album for the band which was formed in Nottingham in 1991. Lead singer and songwriter Stuart A. Staples has long since settled in a small corner of the French countryside in la Creuse, in a place called La Souterraine. True to their City Slang label and their style, which stands aside from all currents and fashions, the Tindersticks announced that this album would be one of “subtle realignments and connections from a restless, intuitive band. Rich in texture and atmosphere, it lives between its open spaces and details, always finding new ways to connect with a song”. These words ring true when we listen to Distractions, through recent tracks mixed with covers that weave more or less obvious connections… To set the scene for this record, Man Alone (Can’t Stop the Fadin’), a dark, minimal, repetitive and mesmerising eleven-minute ballad in which Stuart Staples seems to turn in on himself: a consequence of the pandemic’s austere lockdown? The voice multiplies, diffracting in an endless “can’t stop the fadin”. Then, for a moment, it is covered over by a rainstorm (a nod to The Doors’ Riders on the Storm?) The hour is dark and I Imagine You continues in the same tone, an ‘ambient’ atmosphere not far from Brian Eno or Harold Budd, on which Staples speaks, like a storyteller, as if we are listening to a voice from a film. At the heart of Distractions, three covers, coming from very different worlds but which find common ground here, through the sensitivity of Staples and his acolytes. Neil Young first of all, with A Man Needs a Maid, one of the key pieces from Harvest (1972), then, more obscure, a long seven-minute cover of the Lady with the Braid by Dory Previn (1971), a forgotten singer in the vein of Judee Sill or Joni Mitchell that Staples discovered while still a student… and finally a beautiful cover of a number by cult outfit Television Personalities, You’ll Have to Scream Louder, dating back to 1984. Staples admits to being obsessed with this group, which he discovered as a teenager. And the whole album in fact started with this cover: “I woke on a Saturday morning with no plans but just this Television Personalities song going round in my head, it pushed me into the studio”. Listening to the three covers, this much is obvious: the Tindersticks have a rare talent for revisiting and magnifying the songs of others (from Townes Van Zandt to Lee Hazlewood). Darker still, a song in French, Tue-Moi, written with R. Dan McKinna on piano, inspired by Rachmaninoff, is a reflection on the Bataclan attacks in 2015: “Just knowing the smell of the place, how it feels to be on stage there, made me feel very close to it”, Staples says. Ultimately, Distractions may turn out to be more than just a distraction. – Yan Céh

01. Tindersticks – Man Alone (Can’t Stop the Fadin’) (11:07)
02. Tindersticks – I Imagine You (05:36)
03. Tindersticks – A Man Needs a Maid (04:42)
04. Tindersticks – Lady with the Braid (06:59)
05. Tindersticks – You’ll Have to Scream Louder (05:13)
06. Tindersticks – Tue-Moi (03:33)
07. Tindersticks – The Bough Bends (09:35)


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