the waiting room
It took 4 years to create, what seemed like, a huge pile of ideas and then sift though them to find the nuggets that form this album. An album essentially made from a collection of first or second takes of shared moments, gently edited down and embellished into the songs here.
After 2102’s ‘the something rain’ tindersticks needed some time to figure out this rebuilt, reinvigorated band we had become. Time needed for it take its own shape. There were welcome diversions – the electronic soundtrack to Claire Denis’ ‘Les Salauds’, the orchestral soundscapes for the Ypres WW1 museum, the ‘Singing skies’ art project and book. And also celebrating our 20th anniversary with a live in the studio album and European tour… moments of coming to terms with our past, being released from it.
From the dissolution of the original line up in 2006 (David Boulter, Neil Fraser and Stuart A. Staples remaining) to the addition of Dan Mckinna (2007) and Earl Harvin (2009). This new incarnation has gradually been finding its own way of approaching ideas within their studio environment of ‘Le chien chanceux’. This was felt keenly with the writing and recording of ‘Help Yourself’ – The first song to be realized for this album – which raised a lot of questions, not least: How do we make an album that this song sits happily in the centre of?
Gradually the other songs began to surface and show themselves. From abstract ideas (‘Were we once lovers?’, ‘How he entered’) to more traditional structures (‘Second chance man’, ‘The waiting room’), and finally to the song we needed to begin the album – A cover version of ‘Follow me’, Bronislau Kaper’s theme from the 1962 version of ‘Mutiny on the bounty’.
Although the recording, production and arrangements were taken care of in-house, the album also benefits hugely from the brass arrangements of Julian Siegel and the singing of Jehnny Beth from Savages on ‘We are dreamers!’.
And a last song with Lhasa.
Lhasa de Sela was a great artist and singer but, more importantly, a close friend and creative ally. Before her death in 2010, when she was fit and well, we recorded the singing for the song ‘Hey Lucinda’ together. It has taken a long time for me to be able to return this recording and, hopefully, to do justice to the song we both wanted it to be.