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Baritone Poets Lambchop, Tindersticks Release New Albums on Same Day

by Oliver Horowitz on February 21, 2012

Today Nashville based Lambchop released their eleventh studio album, Mr. M on Merge records. Lambchop is a truly original, and delicately experimental band that is rooted in alternative country, but incorporates post-rock, soul, and lounge music influences. They act as a large and changing collective of musicians that orbits around singer/songwriter Kurt Wagner. Wagner's understated, croaking bass and cryptically poetic lyrics are arguably the most distinctive components of the fluid and innovative group.

From Nottingham, England, the band Tindersticks today released their ninth studio album, The Something Rain on Constellation records. Tindersticks specializes in a unique, sultry breed of chamber pop that since 1999's excellent Simple Pleasure, has incorporated soul and lounge music elements. Singer/songwriter Stuart A. Staples leads the band with his signature bass croon, that warbles over lush orchestration, while maintaining a brooding sense of melancholy.

Lambchop and Tindersticks are often lumped together for some reason (i.e. both are the other's top similar artist on, and there are indeed common elements between the two. Both have bass singers, lush instrumentation (later albums), and subtly sophisticated lyrics that showcase the poet in both songwriters. The bands differ greatly of course, particularly in tone, lyrical clarity, and in the level of sonic experimentation, but there is a common thread between them that draws fans of one to the other.

To greatly oversimplify it, Tindersticks tends scores sensual, dark, and lovelorn nights, while Lambchop appeals more to the kooky, yet poignant moments that fill all hours. Thus, it's a complementary coincidence that both bands chose to release new albums on the same day.