Gerard Love tends to keep busy. As he writes on his blog
, “2009 had been spent mixing the Teenage Fanclub
LP, developing the song ideas and starting the lyrics for Lightships, touring with The Pastels and Tenniscoats in support of their Two Sunsets
LP, playing a one-off unforgettable show with the great Edwyn Collins at Mono (Glasgow), and working on the Lightships thing a little bit more…”
And now, here in spring 2012, “the Lightships thing” has resulted in Electric Cables, a mellow but multi-layered 10-song album, which Love recorded in Glasgow over the past few years with friends, including members of his 20-year-old band, Teenage Fanclub, and Bob Kildea of Belle and Sebastian. These collaborations coupled with Love’s easy commute to record in the neighborhood at his own pace culminated in a welcoming, laid-back, and cohesive album that is the embodiment of springtime. “Photosynthesis” exemplifies this, with lyrics such as “Waited so long/Drifting off in a dream” seamlessly floating over low-key but intricate instrumentals that seem to bloom as the song progresses. The spring theme pops up again on “Every Blossom”. Love’s vocals resemble Elliott Smith’s as he sings, “Every tree, every blossom springs to life,” which is precisely what this album does, song by song.
The standout track, “Silver and Gold”, showcases Love’s versatility with a delicate opening that features intimate, high-pitched vocals followed by a slow instrumental build. One of Electric Cables’ greatest moments comes about halfway through this song (which coincidentally, comes halfway through this album) as a catchy chorus picks up only to slow back down again, creating a teasing roller coaster of a song that makes you want to start it over each time it ends. Closer “Sunlight to the Dawn” has the same effect on the album as a whole, as the mostly instrumental track reveals the best guitar the record has to offer.
Essential Tracks: “Silver and Gold”, “Photosynthesis”, and “The Warmth of the Sun”