250 Words # 4 - Tindersticks' Cherry Blossoms - 250 Words #4 - Tindersticks' Cherry Blossoms

Tindersticks are a band to treasure. This track, from their eponymously titled 2nd Album offers moments of gentle splendour.

From the hushed, almost apologetic piano opening it’s apparent that this was never going to worry the charts. Tindersticks are renowned for their plaintive string arrangements backing Stuart Staples’ hugely individual voice, but here the band has 2 vocal tracks, both Staples, with one gently sung whilst the other hangs in the background as spoken words. The lyrics are what makes this record with Staples seeming to be unsure of just how much sorrow he can carry. It seems more than this writer could take.

Cherry Blossoms is a love song, but far from typical. It seems to be borne from a break-up, yet always has a core of hope trying to burst out. At one point Staples sings “If I could show her completely but it comes out so drunkardly now….” – behind that lies the spoken line “Funny how everything makes you feel low when you’re already low, lying on the bed with the light bulb banging down”. We’re given a man wrestling with himself, not able to communicate as he wants, except in song.

This is a band known for haunting music but of all their wonderful records this, for me, is the one than haunts with the heaviest of hearts. Just over 4 minutes is all Tindersticks need to succeed in showing us life where many fail across entire careers.

(Cherry Blossoms can be found on Tindersticks 2nd Album (Cat. No 5263032/This Way Up)

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