Song of the Day: Tindersticks “Whiskey and Water”
The Nottingham-based English alternative band, Tindersticks, led by Stuart Staples specialize in downbeat, highly literate songs that sardonically trace the dimensions of violence and romance. The group, in many ways, provide an ideally dark soundtrack to autumn with songs manage to sound at once intimate and epic. “Whiskey and Water” (found on their first, self-titled, album) is an ideal example of this. The song deals with lamentations over an ex-lover and is punctuated by both violent bursts of screeching violin and the distorted tones of an electric guitar as with Staples wears his heart on his sleeve. The song is deeply affecting.
In a review of their first record, Melody Maker perfectly captured the sound of Tindersticks as:
This album moves like a camera through a night in the heart of town. Behind the lens, a stranger, a lover and a fighter … There’s sweet romance at this album’s core, even though it’s tarnished by violence … Their songs all invoke the uncomfortable claustrophobia of a big city.
Tindersticks formed in 1991 and made 6 records together before breaking up for a while while singer/songwriter Stuart Staples pursued a solo career. The group subsequently reunited and have largely worked as a soundtrack band over the last decade or so. This has included scoring a number of acclaimed and controversial films by the brilliant French director director, Claire Denis, including the award winning 35 Shots of Rum and the highly controversial Trouble Every Day.