Hey Lucinda / Tindersticks feat. Lhasa / Rosie Pedlow & Joe King / 2016

Hey Lucinda / Tindersticks feat. Lhasa / Rosie Pedlow & Joe King / 2016


Footnotes

I started to write this song a long time ago – around 6am, walking the streets of central Cologne – I didn’t realise then that by trying to push at the way a duet is structured – making this song more conversational, fluid – that the musical setting it actually asked for was beyond us. A ten year struggle commenced, it became a joke in the band – ‘Time to try again with Lucinda…’ ➡︎

“When I first wrote the song, I was very excited because I broke a kind of stricture,” Staples says. “From ‘Islands in the Stream’ to Lee [Hazlewood] and Nancy [Sinatra], duets have been written the same way. The man sings a bit, the woman sings a bit, they sing the chorus together. In ‘Hey Lucinda,’ the music follows the conversation rather than the conversation being fit into the song structure. I went to Montreal, where Lhasa lived, and sang it with her, and it sounded great, but I was struggling—it was too linear, and when it feels too easy I don’t trust it. Soon after that, Lhasa became ill and we lost her [De Sela died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 37], and I had to put the song away.” Staples pauses for a moment, clearly emotional. “It took three or four years before I could listen to her music again, but I heard it then as a lost moment between two people rather than the song I’d been struggling with. I was able to feel the music in a very different way. Turns out it just needed a glockenspiel.” ➡︎

"When we first heard ‘Lucinda’, we were struck by the way the instruments were used to help tell the story. The glockenspiel at the start reminded us of those wind-up musical Ballerina boxes that grind to a halt; the lurching rhythms of the backwards strings and steel drums made us feel a bit drunk," Pedlow and King said. "We decided to use camera movement to echo the toing and froing of the duet, filming from opposite ends of the street in a series of mini tracking shots. Lhasa’s end would be the sleepy chalets; Stuart’s would be amusements. We used a camera slider to repeat the same shot allowing us to layer and cross-fade real time, slow motion and timelapse seamlessly. We wanted to convey not only something about the experiential nature of time but also something about memory and how it fades. We ramped each shot up and down and brought it to a halt just like a ballerina box and used time-lapse to inject a bit of ‘drunkenness’ into the image." ➡︎ 

It is a grand torch song, a conversation between a man and a woman — definitely old friends, maybe also lovers — with a conceit as old as pop: He wants her to come out for a drink or a dance, but she is not inclined. And yet the sonic setting is light-years away from that of a pop band — harmonium, glockenspiel, strings and woodwinds, plus at a crucial point, low-end brass that pushes the song into a deeply funereal direction — presenting the notion that even were the night out to go down, it wouldn't hold a celebration. ➡︎


Extras

▶︎ The Waiting Room Film Project / Tindersticks


Sources

◼︎ The new album, film project / Tindersticks / 2015

◼︎ Tindersticks Reinvents the Duet With a Haunting New Track, “Hey Lucinda” / Corey Seymour / Vogue /  2016

◼︎ Exclusive: Beautiful Music Video For Tindersticks’ “Hey Lucinda” Featuring Lhasa De Sela / Edward Davis / IndieWire / 2015

◼︎ Songs We Love: tindersticks, 'Hey Lucinda' / Piotr Orlov / NPR / 2015


The ever-changing Vegas Strip / CBS Sunday Morning / 1993

The ever-changing Vegas Strip / CBS Sunday Morning / 1993

(Nothing But) Flowers / Talking Heads / Tibor Kalman & Sandy McLeod / M&Co / 1988

(Nothing But) Flowers / Talking Heads / Tibor Kalman & Sandy McLeod / M&Co / 1988