It's here, well almost, Here, the new album by Teenage Fanclub is out on Friday 9th September and it is gorgeous; as positive, reflective, life affirming and heart warming as you would hope. What's more, it's bursting with energy, harmonies and guitars. Here is all the things you may already love about Teenage Fanclub and more.
Thinking about it now, we really should get together a bit more often.
Here was recorded in 3 locations; initially at Vega in rural Provence, then Raymond's home in Glasgow before mixing at Cloud Hills in the industrial heart of Hamburg. Messrs Blake, Love and McGinley each have 4-songs across the album.
Lead single I'm In Love opens the album. I originally blogged about it HERE and over the last month or so I have grown even fonder about the song. In well under 3-minutes the Fannies reminded us all why we love them so much. Norman is fine form, reflecting and realising what is important with melodies flowing over urgent guitars. The promo film is stunning.
Gerry Love's Thin Air bursts into life and gives you a warm shot to the heart. A smile spread across my face within seconds. Gerry Love is like a fine wine, getting better with each album. The chorus is pure Love; heartfelt romance, guitars and the sound of a trumpet somewhere in the background.
The subsequent McGinley guitar solo is a joy. Is Here his best album for guitar playing? The subsequent breakdown showcases how all the band can play. It is a joy to listen to.
Raymond's guitar playing is outstanding throughout Here. His playful lyrical ability is at its best on Hold On with all kinds of simple philosophy and advice.
The Darkest Part Of The Night is a Blake beauty that you'll find yourself singing on first listen thanks to a flowing melody and chorus. There is a blistering McGinley guitar solo before we return to the chorus - twice for good measure. Norman's voice is beautifully soulful and true and he has the listener hanging on every word.
Did Gerry Love warm your heart with Thin Air? Expect that warm feeling to be extended with the gorgeous I Have Nothing More To Say; a song that is perfectly formed. The riffs, the effects, the hushed vocals, another great McGinley solo over a gorgeous flowing groove. Love's work with Lightships extends to Teenage Fanclub - stunning.
I Was Beautiful When I Was Alive is a dreamy McGinley piece that takes off 3-minutes in with McGinley repeatedly asking What are you gonna do, what are you gonna do about about it? as the beat comes in along with psychedelic backing vocals. Really look forward to hearing this live.
I always like to think anything's possible when we make a new record but because of who we are and how we work, there's always going to be a strong continuity.
The First Sight is more Gerry Love genius. It has a kind of French/Euro feel to it, the beat and the flow of the music, exploding into the chorus. McGinley delivers a searing and soaring solo before the band get into what sounds like a gloriously complex groove. Horns make their appearance again, lifting things even higher - will they have a horn section on the live dates? That would be amazing!
At 5 minutes and 9 seconds long there is time for another McGinley solo at the end, just when you think the song might be coming to a conclusion he takes it to a glorious extended climax.
Steady State is a slow paced dreamy Raymond song that begins with a riff that sounds really familiar and then beautiful lyrics.
It's A Sign is the sound of upbeat summer pop. There are doo wops and ba ba na's and the sound like they are having real fun with the backing vocals. It's a Gerry number and has many of his hallmarks stamped all over it.
Raymond McGinley's With You is quite simply beautiful. The first verse is reflection and pondering before a chorus full of the recognition of true love and need. The breakdown after the short second verse into a glorious instrumental complete with organ is sensational.