Published Feb 16, 2010Eight albums and nearly three decades into their existence, the Tindersticks have outlasted many of the British bands that got their start in the early '90s. Though the sextet never broke through in the major way that other moody contemporaries like PJ Harvey or Pulp did, they picked up a loyal cult following over that period that sustains them to this day. Falling Down A Mountain is very much an album that preaches to the converted. Stuart Staples' lyrics don't brood as deeply as depression-era high points like 1993's Tindersticks or 1997's Curtains, and the band have long abandoned the promising turn towards R&B that presided over 1999's Simple Pleasures and 2001's Can Our Love... But Falling Down sounds like the work of a band that are finally comfortable in their own skin again, which isn't something that could have been said of 2003's Waiting For The Moon and following releases. This may also be the most complex instrumentalist album they have ever released, and the pleasure of playing together that has sprung from touring behind reunion album The Hungry Saw is what makes this latest Tindersticks album shine brightest.
Falling Down A Mountain has a wider range to its sound than past Tindersticks records. Were more of the band involved in writing it?
Staples: With The Hungry Saw, we were a band in a room, and we brought the songs into that room. With Falling Down a Mountain, we let the songs lead and push us as far as they wanted to go. And as a result, the shape of the band on each song is different. It's more fluid, and each song has its own space and time in the recording process.
The Tindersticks have a reputation for writing sad songs. Yet ever since the reunion, the band sound happier.
I don't know if I'd look around me and say everybody's happier. But I do think we're more centred in who we are and what we want. With The Hungry Saw, we hadn't made an album in five years, and that brought a certain necessity to making a record. When we started touring afterwards, through that year things just grew and grew creatively. In the past, we would get off a tour bus at the end and wave goodbye for a few months. This time, we had the feeling that we should put that creative energy to use right away and make another album. It was rare for us to feel that way. ()