It’s been nine years since Tindersticks released a Claire Denis soundtrack; every listen to Stars at Noon (of which I’ve had several this week) justifies that wait. While I loved their bongo- and horn-laden spell cast across the film, both complementing and (frankly) sometimes elevating a characteristically slippery Denis picture, the full work’s a consummate pleasure heard standalone.

Whatever the consistency that can give it some symphonic character—shaped by and working from one of the great leitmotifs this 30-year-old band has yet devised—I’ve found myself returning to individual pieces (two favorites: “Motel Rain” and “Dawn Walk Home”) for their deviations, carefully amended tempos, arrangements, volumes. And the title track, which got a video last week, stands with “Trouble Every Day” or “Put Your Love In Me” as a precise meeting of Tindersticks’ abilities and Denis’ worlds.

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