Lightships: Electric Cables (Domino) 

Electric Cables, the debut album by Teenage Fanclub's Gerard Love (under the Lightships moniker), is as bright and breezy as a summer day. That's in keeping with Love's past in C86-style bedroom pop, most recently his contributions to 2010's Shadows. Most of Electric Cables shares the same tuneful psychedelic DNA as Love's songs from that record, like "Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything" or "Into the City."

Electric Cables has the same crispness as the production on Love's Shadows tracks, though some of these songs have fuzzier edges. "Photosynthesis" is downright orchestral, with animated woodwinds and tinkling piano lines curling throughout. We could time-travel back to 1967 with this album tucked under our arm and fit in quite nicely.

The album's most spirited track, "Silver and Gold," is also its best, shrugging off the lazy late-afternoon mood of the record for choruses that swell with something approaching exultation.

If there's a downside, it's that Electric Cables can feel a little samey. Tracks like "The Warmth of the Sun" aren't essential, and can tend to bleed into the background. But even in that case, there's a sweet-hearted woodwind solo carrying the second half of the song that's damned hard not to be charmed by. That's in keeping with the album's pastoralism, though we also get "Every Blossom," a paean to nature underscored with sci-fi burbling.

This is a record for optimists, not cynics. It is brimming with nostalgic pleasure.

More by Sean Bottai


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