Tindersticks - The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room sees the welcome return of the Nottingham's premier chamber pop outfit Tinderstickswith their tenth Studio album. Their first of new material since 2012’s The Something Rain delivers not just an album but a collaborative film project as well. Including contributions from several directors such as Christoph Giradet and Gabriel Sanna. This isn’t a surprise as the album skilfully blends the band’s previous soundtrack work - replete with sweeping orchestral arrangements - with a slow soulful groove. A rich work full of expertly placed arranged instruments – from melodicas, to steel drums, horn sections, reverb drenched guitar, and to Staples’ voice itself (his baritone evoking a world weary fragility) – nothing feels out of place or overkill at any stage throughout.
From Portishead-like instrumental opener ‘Follow Me’, sounding straight out of a Truffaut film, to album closer ‘Like Only Lovers Can’ harking back to 70's soul ballads, and spliced with the groups earlier more traditional indie sound, the album is an understated belter. Highlights include ‘Second Chance Man’, with a smattering of TV On The Radio's sound, the Northern Soul vibe of ‘Help Yourself’ and the fragile and poignant ‘Hey Lucinda’ (a posthumous duet recorded in 2010 with Staples’s friend Lhasa De Sela). And the rumbling gloom of ‘We are Dreamers’ (featuring Savages singer Jehnny Beth) is especially reminiscent of the collaborations of Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. Regardless of break ups and re-formations, and their various highs and lows, Tindersticks always seem to be a band going from strength to strength. The Waiting Room is a natural progression of the group’s output; it's like picking up a conversation that was started well over 20 years ago. The resulting album is equally cinematic and personal.