Today, the English alternative rock band Tindersticks released the title track off of the original motion picture soundtrack for Stars At Noon, Claire Denis’ new A24 film based on the 1986 novel by Denis Johnson. Alongside a music video pulling footage directly from the film, the band also revealed the track list for the original motion picture soundtrack, which will drop in conjunction with the film’s U.S. release on October 14.
Margaret Qualley (The Maid, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood) and Joe Alwyn (Conversations with Friends) hang on one another as they share a slow dance in the scenes taken from the film for the music video for the ravishing song “Stars At Noon.” The romantic thriller tells the story of an illicit love affair between a mysterious English businessman and a headstrong American journalist in Nicaragua in 1984. Their romance entangles them in a dangerous labyrinth of lies and conspiracies, forcing them to try and escape the country.
“The Englishman is dancing with the American woman and he realizes it’s too much and apologizes to her,” Denis said, about the scene from her new film included in the Stars At Noon music video. “He can make love to her in a motel room because he’s paying her — but to dance with her is something else. Their love affair shifts into something very real.”
The title song provides a seductive soundtrack to the scene from the upcoming film with its slow tempo, haunting tenor sax line, and the crooning voice of the Tindersticks lead singer Stuart Staples. When discussing the process of making the song, Staples said the film had been on the director’s mind for nearly 10 years leading him to have a strong feeling for it after all the conversations they had about the film. He reached out to David Pattman, who played the bongos for the Trouble Every Day score 20 years before, as well as Dan McKinna on double bass, Ross Stanley on Hammond organ, and Julian Seigel on the saxophone to help make the soundtrack happen.
“I was pushing it to be slower and slower, until it only just grooved, just on the cusp. Finding that tempo was key for me and the final version was recorded live in one take,” Staples said about the title song. “I sent a rough mix to Claire in Panama, they were having production problems and she said the song cheered them all up – I heard all the crew singing along in the background.”
Since her 1996 feature Nénette and Boni, Denis has continued to work in some capacity with Staples and Tindersticks on the distinctive music in her films, through conventional scoring or bespoke numbers written for specific scenes. These include the ominous title track for the 2001 horror-thriller Trouble Every Day and the mournful “Put Your Love in Me” for the 2013 neo-noir Bastards. Earlier this year, Tindersticks released a collection of works from more than 30 years as a band along with the new song “Both Sides of The Blade,” for Denis’ film Avec amour et acharnament, released earlier this summer. The Stars at Noon original motion picture soundtrack is the band’s first collection of new material since 2020’s Distractions.
Alongside Qualley and Alwyn, Stars at Noon – which won the Grand Prix at the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival – stars Danny Ramirez, Benny Safdie, and John C. Reilly. The Stars at Noon original motion picture soundtrack consists of 19 tracks, including an instrumental version of “Stars At Noon.” Check out the music video and official trailer as well as the tracklist below.