Release Date: Apr 26, 2011
Record label: Constellation
Genre(s): Indie Rock, Chamber Pop
This very welcome release brings together the six film scores that members of Tindersticks have produced for Claire Denis over the past 15 years. The collaboration between the French director and the British band has proved to be one of the most fruitful in contemporary cinema, resulting in some extraordinary fusions of sound and image. The partnership began when Denis approached the group about working on the soundtrack to Nénette et Boni in 1996, after listening to their second album while scripting the film.
French director Claire Denis began her decade-long working relationship with the British band Tindersticks in 1995. She initially approached vocalist/songwriter Stuart Staples about using the song "My Sister," from their second album in Nénette et Boni; Staples suggested Tindersticks write something original for her project. While an instrumental version of "My Sister" -- with a different arrangement -- appears in the film, as does the original version of "Tiny Tears," the group did indeed compose a beautiful, chamber jazz-tinged score for Denis, beginning a relationship that has resulted in soundtracks for six films thus far.
Tindersticks had two albums of largely downtempo chamber pop under their belts when French filmmaker Claire Denis approached them after a concert to ask about recording a soundtrack for her 1996 film Nénette et Boni. It turned out to be a fateful meeting, as the collaboration has yielded positive results for both: working on instrumental music arguably helped change how the band approached their studio albums, and many of Denis’ films derive a great deal of their emotional thrust from Tindersticks’ music. Members Stuart Staples and Dickon Hincliffe have since recorded three more soundtracks for Denis together and two more separately.
"Cinematic" is a difficult adjective to avoid when discussing the music of Tindersticks. The band's moodiness, use of orchestration, and tendency toward restraint punctuated by brief moments of overload all lend their music a film-like quality. Some of their songs even feel like short movies, telling stories not just through lyrics, but also through the motion of the music.