I need 90 odd percent of female singer/songwriters (Feist, Van Etten, you may be excused) to listen to Mina Tindle’s debut long-player and ask themselves why they continue to spew out overly emotive, recycled trash. There clearly remains an untapped vault of invention and imagination – Tindle’s been locked in there for the foreseeable future. Don’t get all sentimental on me, you can still pen the melancholy (check The Good), fire up the dancing pop (check To Carry Small Things) and even weigh in with an orchestral backing (check Austin) – just try not to moan and meander so insipidly.
Who is Tindle? She’s a French musician with a piano, acoustic guitar and the gift of an angelic tone – she hints at folk, but treads in gorgeously arranged pop circles. She spent two years recording this record in garage studios around Paris. The record is fourteen tracks long and I still can’t find a filler.
The production keeps Tindle’s voice intimate, up close. The lightly crashing beauty on the jovial piano-led Too Loud is an absolute gem. The unique Time Writer has two Mina harmonies and another wailing in the background.
Oh, and of course the songs delivered in French only add a touch of cultural class, don’t ask me why – it’s the same when you watch a sub-titled film – you just feel a little more cultured. Pan is one such moment – it rolls with an acoustic guitar along the Parisian side streets.
Henry is another highlight, padded with brass and street parade percussion – there are hints of Cat Power (one of Tindle’s self-pronounced inspirations) amid the continual layer-mounting tune.
Mina Tindle has started to mess with my singer/songwriter stats for all the right reasons. Her debut is a master-class in thoughtfully constructed pop music and it will be playing in these parts for a long while yet.