Boomkat Product Review:
With the prospect of a Tindersticks reunion looking decidedly lukewarm, it's fallen on previous member Stuart A. Staples to provide our fix of rimy, southern-fried acoustic nourishment - and when it sounds as good as new album 'Leaving Songs' it's hard to feel too hard-done-by. Following the low-key releases for Lucky Dog last year, Stuart A. Staples has returned to the same Nashville studio and embarked on sessions alongside Dave Boulter, Neil Fraser, Terry Edwards, Thomas Belhom and Gina Foster - with the dusty predilection of the music seared onto 'Leaving Songs' steeped in a poignant blend of bourbon, longing and weary nostalgia. Centering on Staples' serrated (yet rich) vocals, 'Leaving Songs' opens through the horn-punctured buoyancy of 'Goodbye To Old Friends' - wherein Staples channels the spirit of Roy Orbison and countless alt.country denizens, for a gorgeous slab of solipsistic abandonment. From here, 'There Is A Path' represents a delicate thing - with cascading percussion, Gina Foster's vocals and see-sawing strings providing a shimmering backdrop for Staples syrupy discourse, 'This Road Is Long' sees Maria McKee counterbalancing the gravelly disposition with a performance liberally etched with emotion, whilst 'That Leaving Feeling' provides an album stand-out - as Louis Armstrong is cannibalised for a startling duet between Staples and Lhasa de Sela that positively fizzes with tension both in the charged vocals and orgiastic orchestration. Don't leave...!