Tindersticks took what appeared to be a final bow in 2006, announced its return with The Hungry Saw in 2008, and now has reclaimed its relevance with its eighth album, Falling Down a Mountain.
Falling Down the Mountain is more float than flight, frontman Stuart Staples’ carved, debonair baritone emerging from clouds of percussion and circling trumpet on the disc-opening title track. The cascading “Keep You Beautiful” sways lightly, the easy-strummed verses growing more decorated by the beat, Staples’ wisp making each chorus the more fleeting. “Peanuts” is trivially playful, and “Black Smoke” is toxic, with bobbing guitar, tambourine and cowbell. All come together to create a dream-like presence, the lush instrumentation appearing and disappearing at the whim of the musicians and to the wonderment of the listener.
Tindersticks have been at it for nearly 20 years, and they continue to shy away from the mainstream with unique instrumentation. Falling Down a Mountain builds upon the momentum re-ignited with The Hungry Saw, and screams loud and clear that Tindersticks are back.
Falling Down a Mountain is out now on 4AD.