I guarantee you that Tindersticks Second Album is the best album you’ve never heard. And that’s a money back guarantee (subject to terms and conditions, yadda yadda yadda).

Before this album was released I’d heard a couple of Tindersticks tracks (Marbles, from their debut, and ‘Snowy in F# Minor’ from this album), and I’d read reviews, but nothing quite prepared me for the transcendent moment of listening to this album for the first time. And when I tell you that this experience occurred at a listening post in a branch of Virgin Records you might begin to understand how incredible this music must have seemed to me at the time.

That was 1995, since when I have bored friends (but not, I hope, lost friends) with tales of how good Tindersticks are, and I have taken friends to Tindersticks gigs (and never left without them, which I take as a good sign). I have helped friends overcome the club style singing that might occasionally be observed in Stuart Staples’ vocals. I have accepted that Tindersticks are not for everyone, nor for every occasion. I’ve never accepted, however, any suggestion that they’re boring, dull, or miserable. OK, maybe a bit on the miserable side, but…

Their music is beautiful and wonderful, just not in a shiny, glossy, pop pin-up, fresh or clean way: it’s just a far, far deeper and more internal and intense beauty.