Tindersticks announce 30th anniversary compilation ‘Past Imperfect’

Tindersticks have announced a new 30th anniversary compilation, ‘Past Imperfect: The Best of Tindersticks ’92-’21’.

The Nottingham band, whose latest album ‘Distractions’ came out in 2021, will release the 20-track collection on March 25 via City Slang. It’ll comprise material from across the group’s three-decade career.

Previewing the record, Tindersticks have shared a previously unreleased song called ‘Both Sides Of The Blade’, which frontman Stuart Staples wrote for Claire Denis’ upcoming film Avec amour et acharnament.

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The stirring track arrives with a black-and-white official video starring Suzanne Osborne. Directed by Staples, the clip serves as the singer’s “own visual take on the song (with a lot of help from his friends!)”.

Tune in here:

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You can pre-order/pre-save ‘Past Imperfect: The Best of Tindersticks ’92-’21’ from here.

Speaking of the band’s 30th anniversary, Staples explained: “One of the greatest things I feel in approaching this milestone, is that all of the mistakes we’ve made are our mistakes. If there’s something wrong, there’s something wrong because we decided in the moment that this is what we should be and we physically made it that way.

“I’m kind of proud of that. We’re still here, we’re still connected, we’re still pushing and it’s been totally on our own terms. I can’t really think of many other bands that are in that situation.”

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‘Past Imperfect’ also features an unreleased version of ‘Her’ as well as the songs ‘My Sister’, ‘Can We Start Again?’, ‘Willow’ and ‘Both Sides Of The Blade’. You can see the full tracklist below.

01 ‘City Sickness’
02 ‘Her (’92)’ (Unreleased Version)
03 ‘Tiny Tears’
04 ‘Travelling Light’ (Single Version)
05 ‘My Sister’
06 ‘Rented Rooms’
07 ‘Can We Start Again?’
08 ‘Dying Slowly’
09 ‘Sometimes It Hurts’
10 ‘My Oblivion’
11 ‘Harmony Around My Table’
12 ‘Show Me Everything’
13 ‘This Fire Of Autumn’
14 ‘Medicine’
15 ‘What Are You Fighting For?’
16 ‘How He Entered’
17 ‘Were We Once Lovers?’
18 ‘Willow (New)’
19 ‘Pink In The Daylight’
20 ‘Both Sides Of The Blade’

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Listen to Yard Act’s stripped-back cover of Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’

Yard Act have shared a cover of Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ – listen to it below.

Speaking about the cover, which the group told NME about last week, Smith said: “We did ‘Tiny Dancer’ ‘cause our new best pal Elton has been so kind about us in the press recently.

“A song like ‘Tiny Dancer’ seems so far removed from what people assume Yard Act is, we thought it would be a really interesting way of showing not only our own versatility, but also the versatility of a song as good as ‘Tiny Dancer’.”

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John personally gave his blessing to the group for their cover in a “personal telephone call to frontman James Smith,” according to a press release.

You can listen to the cover here.

Elton John
Elton John. Credit: Gregg Kemp

John has previously spoken of his admiration of Yard Act. Speaking to NME in last year’s Big Read, John said of the band’s style: “I can’t do it but I love it and I wonder how they do it.”

In this week’s NME Big Read with Yard Act, the group responded to John’s praise saying: “It was mind-blowing, I fucking love Elton John; I want to write some lyrics for him. I’m hoping we’ll bump into him at some point.

“We’re doing a live cover of ‘Tiny Dancer’ to get his attention to pique his interest. It could go completely wrong, but you’re better off giving something a go. People are so fucking precious and judgemental: do something rather than nothing; we’re all gonna be dead soon.”

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When asked if they’d like to do a collaboration, Smith replied:  “A hundred per cent! Can you imagine a band meeting where someone flagged they didn’t want to work with Elton John? They’d be booted instantly. I’d fucking love to work with him! We’d do a drive-in rock’n’roll song. I’d write some words for him to sing and then I’d join in on the chorus. It would be well good, like ‘Crocodile Rock Part Two’.”

The Leeds group also shared another new single from their upcoming new album, ‘Overload’, which is released this Friday (January 21). ‘Pour Another’ follows on from previously released singles, ‘Rich’, ‘Payday’ and the album’s title track.

Speaking about their latest track, Smith added: “‘Pour Another’ zooms in on the post-party conversations many hedonists will be all too familiar with.

“It leaves the impending doom of daily life in a world on fire at the door, at that point in the night when you don’t want to let go of the moment you’re in, when everything is perfect and everyone is your new best friend. Those moments fade, because nothing stays as it was. You’re woken with a bang and you have to face the truth.”

They’ll showcase the record on their 2022 UK headline tour, which kicks off next month (find ticket details here).

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Listen to cult Scottish indie band Astrid’s new song ‘Through The Darkness Of Your Life’

Astrid have returned with their first new material in over three years – check out ‘Through the Darkness Of Your Life’ below.

The track, a burst of up-tempo psychedelic pop, will hit streaming services on January 21 (pre-save here) but can be heard early via Soundcloud.

Speaking about ‘Through The Darkness Of Your Life’, Astrid frontman Charlie Clark said: “In some ways (the song is) about getting older and using past experiences and knowledge gained to really start applying it to your life.”

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“During the pandemic I revisited a lot of Occult literature, power of positive thinking type books and lots of lectures by the likes of Alan Watts, Ram Das and Bob Proctor that I was interested in as a teenager. One book in particular, The Kybalion, which is a really small book but filled with all these amazing ideas and principles,” he added.

Check out ‘Through The Darkness Of Your Life’ below:

Alongside Astrid’s new track, the cult indie band have also announced a run of Scottish headline shows, set to take place in February. Tickets are on sale now and the dates are below.

FEBRUARY 2022
08 – The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
11 – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
12 – Tolbooth, Stirling
13 – Eden Court, Inverness

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During the run of shows, an limited-edition vinyl of ‘Through The Darkness Of Your Life’ will be available to order – backed by B-side ‘Opposites Meet’ which was written during the recording for Astrid’s 1999 debut album ‘Strange Weather Lately’ but remained unfinished until now.

Astrid formed in 1997, toured the UK with Belle & Sebastian and released three records before disbanding in 2004. The group reformed in 2016 and released their fourth album ‘Fall, Stand, Dance’ in 2019.

Clark also released his debut solo album ‘Late Night Drinking’ in 2021 on Alan McGee’s relaunched It’s Creation, Baby label.

In a recent interview with NME, McGee talked about turning 60: “In my head, I’m still a ginger punk-rocker from Glasgow and that’s what I’m always going to be. I’ve never had a particularly high opinion of myself, and being old is irrelevant because I’m still into music.

“My role models are the managers, like Seymour Stein, Andrew Loog Oldham, Malcolm McLaren and Tony Wilson. Seymour is my role model more than anyone else, and he’s still running music at 78. That’s how I want to be until the very end: still into bands and still putting music out,” he added.

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Arab Strap return with new song ‘Aphelion’ from upcoming 7″

Arab Strap have returned with a brand new song and announced details of a forthcoming 7″ single – hear ‘Aphelion’ below.

The Scottish duo – Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton – returned in 2021 with their first album as Arab Strap in 16 years. ‘As Days Get Dark’ went on to be nominated for the SAY (Scottish Album Of The Year) Award.

‘Aphelion’ will appear on a new 7″ single, due out on March 4 via Mogwai‘s Rock Action label and also featuring another new track called ‘Flutter’.

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“These two songs were written, recorded and mixed during the sessions for ‘As Days Get Dark’ but as much we loved them, we couldn’t find a place for them on the final album,” Moffat explained in a statement.

“Maybe it’s because they seem to have their own distinct identities, but sometimes a song just sounds better on its own, when it’s not part of a crowd and vying for attention. So, to celebrate the anniversary of the album’s release, we present ‘As Days Get Dark”s two runaway loners; a couple of black sheep who might not click with the rest of the family but, even though they aren’t very happy, are still worth a cuddle.”

Listen to ‘Aphelion’ below and pre-order the 7″ single here.

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Reviewing ‘As Days Get Dark’ upon its release last year, NME described the album as a career best for Moffat and Middleton, writing: “With lyrics that encompass the reality of ageing with all its wisdom and regrets, and with music that employs the deftness of touch that can only come with long-term honing, Arab Strap have delivered their defining record.”

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In a new interview around the release of their comeback single ‘The Turning Of Our Bones’ in late 2020, their first new music in 15 years, the pair said that there was “no point getting back together to release mediocrity”.

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Razorlight are in the studio working on their fifth album

The recently reunited Razorlight have confirmed that they’re currently in the studio working on a new album.

Last April, the band confirmed that their original line-up of Johnny Borrell, Andy Burrows, Björn Ågren and Carl Dalemo were reuniting after a 10-year hiatus for a livestreamed show that summer.

Borrell, Ågren and Dalemo first formed the band in 2002, with Andy Burrows joining in 2004. Together, the quartet released three studio albums (2004 debut ‘Up All Night’, 2006’s self-titled follow-up and 2008’s ‘Slipway Fires’).

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To start 2022, the band have now confirmed that new music is on the way, with the band hard at work at a Gloucestershire studio.

“Greetings from 2022, here we are in Gloucestershire working hard on Razor album 5,” the band tweeted alongside a pair of photos taken outside the studio.

See the update below:

Speaking about the reunion last year, Burrows said: “It feels incredible. We’ve spent the past week or two rehearsing. Playing these songs has been an absolute joy. The emotions that were going through me when we started playing ‘America’, I forgot to play the first half of the song – it was totally nuts. It’s been amazing. It’s so powerful playing these old tunes. It’s very very special.”

Borrell added: “I’m really enjoying reconnecting with Andy and Carl, it’s like getting to know people again. I’m enjoying it because you never want to lose friends. It’s a horrible thing to think. It doesn’t really make sense. It definitely feels good to me on a personal level.

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“On a creative level – amazing. We’ve been in the studio rehearsing and recording. As soon as the four of us are in the room, it just sounds amazing, straight away.”

Ahead of the full reunion, guitarist Ågren rejoined Razorlight last year alongside Borrell, while the band’s last full-length album came in the form of 2018’s ‘Olympus Sleeping’.

Reviewing that album upon its release, NME wrote: “Razorlight are not here to save rock – they never were, and they’re more than aware of it. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but pulling the Harley out of the ditch.”

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