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.”