by Harry Hodgson
Scottish indie legends, Teenage Fanclub, return with their eleventh studio album, Endless Arcade – a lush record that guides the listener into a world of beauty
The soft radiance of the lead single, Home, wraps its poetic lyricism around a blanket of smooth, rich instrumentation – ‘I’ve been losing sight of what it means to be, and all this time I’ve been holding onto our memory’ striking through as a reflective message of feeling lost in the craziness of the world. The track’s seven-minute run time creates the space for the song’s warm haze to place the listener into a hypnotic state of complete bliss – one that the album grows from – before the instrumentation of the latter half of the track comes alive with pummelling drums and a meticulously crafted guitar solo.
The bright lights continue to shine – Everything Is Falling Apart is less immediate, but its gorgeous chorus harbours the repeated refrain of its title against elegant, whooshing guitars. This song feels like an acceptance of a dire situation, rather than a state of worry – displayed through a positive soundscape that shimmers throughout most of the record. While album high point, The Sun Won’t Shine On Me, is an honest wonder. Sorrowful, yet still carrying a sentimentality, it details the loss of one’s love with an emotionally potent chorus – ‘with the troubled mind, I am in decline. And the sun won’t shine on me.’
And the album remains cohesive throughout the second leg – I’m More Inclined feels like a classic representation of the Teenage Fanclub sound with its jangly guitars, and a mellow synth line that creeps along – haunting at the back of the track. While closer, Silent Song, wraps the album up with a slow burn – before coming to an abrupt halt, as every instrument crashes to a stop at the same precise moment, which feels like a fitting cyclical moment given the way the album opens with Home’s hypnotic spirit.
Endless Arcade is a genuine, direct record full of tales of love and life – a sincere record that shines like a diamond in the band’s already glittering discography.
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