By nightfall, you reach the mossy shore of a small lake. The full moons, both high above and the one reflecting off the water’s glassy surface, illuminate the surrounding glade. A star falling in the distance grasps your vision. Your eyes follow its descent behind a mountain, before looking down at a mysterious platform floating inches above the lake. A soft melody on the crisp air entices your feet to step upon it, and it begins to steadily move over the water . . .
There are few artists, and even fewer bands, that possess the capacity for longterm, career-spanning greatness. It requires a consistent contortion of sound in just the right amount, constant development of talent, and an unflinching dedication to the pursuit of creative authenticity. The Waiting Room is the newest full-length from Nottingham’s Tindersticks, a group that’s on a rare 25 year-streak of ingenuity.
The common threads tying these refined compositions together are a remarkable level of instrumental restraint, and the smoky narration of frontman Stuart Staples. These songs are tastefully subtle, swelling from soft keyboard melodies and twinkling percussion, through glistening peaks adorned with brass and woodwinds. This record is patient to the utmost degree, but every minute traversed is filled with inventive beauty.
The Waiting Room is gorgeous throughout, but the apex may be penultimate track “We Are Dreamers!”, in which Staples is joined by Savages frontwoman Jehnny Beth for a boisterous release of toppling tension. The two contrasting voices intertwine in a spirited, ritualistic display, showing the teeming life that lurks within these tender songs. If you’re seeking classically refined, idiosyncratic rock, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)