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Tindersticks Announce New Album Soft Tissue and Live Dates

Today, Tindersticks announce a new album, Soft Tissue. Released on City Slang on September 13th 2024, a tangible sense of mutual curiosity propels the five members of Tindersticks to fresh territory on their 14th album proper. Pre-order here.

Along with the announcement they have announced live dates, including a headline show at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Tickets here.

Previously, on No Treasure but Hope (2019), these mavens of mood and beauty had embraced a kind of dusky, live-sounding naturalism, followed by the bracingly executed experimental left-turns of 2020’s Distractions. As resilient and flexible as its title suggests, Soft Tissue connects and exceeds those extremes, drawing new life from the contrasts and convergences of its tight, intuitive songs and restless details.

These contrasts find instant focus on opener New World, shared online for the first time today – the first track written for Soft Tissue and a springboard for the album’s thematic concerns about personal/public worlds knocked off-kilter. The arrangements pick up close to where 2016’s The Waiting Room left off and steer the record into febrile terrain, balancing Stuart Staples’ sandy vocals with Julian Siegel’s brass arrangements, Dave Boulter’s pensive keys and Gina Foster’s soulful backing vocals. Meanwhile, Staples’s introspective reflections lead to a refrain that takes a more outward-looking slant, flagged up on a banner in the song’s playful promo video: “I won’t let my love become my weakness.”

The video, as well as the album’s sleeve, are made with Staples’ daughter, artist Sidonie Osborne Staples. Stuart comments: ”Sid was making these tiny ceramic characters, I asked her to make some of the band. Later I wrote this song about somehow trying make sense of this strange world I felt developing around me and these little guys came back into my mind. Let’s take them on a stop-motion journey across a strange land, from the barren rocks to the bountiful fruit that is not familiar and maybe poisonous. Sid put the landscapes together and moved the figures, millimetres at a time. Neil took the photographs, we edited as we went along.”

The journey began during a break from the tour for Tindersticks’ 30th-anniversary compilation Past Imperfect, as Staples began writing New World, Always a Stranger and The Secret of Breathing. Ideas were knocked around in the studio, McKinna bringing the start of Falling, the Light and Soon to be April, and the record began to creep forward.

That growth proceeded at a studio in Girona, Spain – not a “fancy studio”, says Stuart, but one that offered the vital attributes of rooms big enough to play, cook, eat, hang out and listen to music together in. ”To me, working with a band is a conversation. It’s about people. When a songwriter provides ideas for people to bring to life musically, it starts a conversation that everybody’s involved in and has some kind of ownership of. I suppose it starts off from me with an acoustic guitar singing the start of New World. I know what that song means to me, how I want it to feel. But at the same time, I love to be surprised, it’s all about those conversations being alive.

“And it’s fun to work with people like Gina and Julian, and within the band, with ideas flowing. We can have ideas but that’s just the start of the conversation” he adds. ”When you’re actually there in the room and things start to happen, things can really fly. You can walk away from the studio feeling so enlivened. It can be a fantastic feeling.”

With the vocals, strings and brass completed in London, the result upholds Tindersticks’ extraordinarily sustained commitment to ambition and exploration, stretching back more than three decades.

If the symphonic ruminations of Tindersticks’ trio of 1993-7 albums established them as trend-averse explorers of great depth and reach, Simple Pleasure (1999) and Can Our Love… (2001) proved equally adept at exploring contrasting textures within tighter contexts. After 2003’s twinkling Waiting for the Moon, and an emotional live performance of their second album in 2006, the band said farewell to three old bandmates, leaving Staples, Fraser and Boulter to start again. McKinna (multi-instrumentalist) and Thomas Belhom (drums) joined for the warming rebirth of The Hungry Saw (2008) before Harvin took over on drums for the increasingly confident Falling Down a Mountain (2010) and the palpably freeing The Something Rain  (2012).

Later work equipped Tindersticks’ inquisitive impetus with fertile focus. Between compositions for the First World War commemorations (‘Ypres’, 2014) and F Percy Smith’s microscopic movies (‘Minute Bodies’, 2017), 2016’s ‘The Waiting Room’ crackled with global sounds. Staples then delivered a solo album (Arrhythmia, 2018) and the soundtrack to director Claire Denis’s science-fiction film ‘High Life’, strengthening the band’s long-term ties to the filmmaker – soundtracks to Denis’s ‘Stars at Noon’ and ‘Both Sides of the Blade’ have since followed.

No Treasure but Hope and Distractions affirmed the band’s readiness to stretch themselves, to live and breathe inside their music. More recently, two 2023 France shows devoted to their hugely varied 10-film work with Denis upheld the band’s adaptable determination to actively pursue ever-bigger challenges.  “It’s about being more demanding, more ambitious, and then coming out the other end of it feeling as though you’ve achieved something” Stuart says.

On Soft Tissue, that ambition takes the form of a fluid, questing take on what Tindersticks can be, anchored by a sense of trust between the bandmates. As Stuart explains, “In this band, I think that there’s so much. I was going to say talent but it’s got nothing to do with talent really. It’s about that desire, that need to reach for something and to go to places you haven’t been. And I feel that comes from everybody. I didn’t feel as though there was any kind of restriction about, or any dogma about, what this record could be, beyond where it takes us and what excites us.”

Check out the video for the lead single, New World below:



Tindersticks | Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter/X | YouTube 

City Slang | Website 

Main image photo and album artwork by Sidonie Osborne Staples ©

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