Stuart Staples was already nurturing seeds for a different kind of Tindersticks album before lockdown halted their tour in early 2020. If 2019’s “No Treasure but Hope” saw the band rediscovering themselves as a unit, the follow-up reconfigures that unit so that everything familiar about Tindersticks sounds fresh again. “Distractions” is an album of subtle realignments and connections from a restless, intuitive band. Rich in texture and atmosphere, it lives between its open spaces and details, always finding new ways to connect with a song.
If it’s an album that resists easy summation, at least one thing is clear: though it isn’t untouched by the lockdown, “Distractions” is not ‘a lockdown album’. As Staples says, “I think the confinement provided an opportunity for something that was already happening. It is definitely a part of the album, but not a reaction to it.”
About “Man Alone”, the first single of upcoming the album:
“It was always a journey but I wasn’t expecting it to be such a long one. We made a 6 minute version but it felt like it pulled off and stopped half way to its destination. This was the beginning of a long journey in itself, to find the route needed to complete itself – Probably the biggest challenge a song or piece of music has given us. It was delicate and slippery right up to the final mix – which lasted a week! The song has a strange connection for me to the drum machine, bass guitar and voice combination of ‘Indignant Desert Birds’ – mine and Neils first band when I was 17.
In the back of a London cab driving through the city at night is a very special space for me. It has a particular kind of aloneness. This fascination grew over hundreds of nights leaving the the studio exhausted at 1 am – Ladbroke Grove or St Johns wood, through the city and over the river to South East London in an almost dream state. Retracing that journey, this film became a way of touching the city and the feeling of being both a part of and apart from it.”