Teenage Fanclub: Shadows
Teenage Fanclub are often dismissed by Lazy Journalists as merely the sum of their influences – Byrds, Big Star, Beach Boys harmonies, etc – but I think they’ve achieved something much more important. They’ve worked out what joy sounds like. They’ve got the chords for it and everything. I know people say these things are learned, that it’s just a series of sounds we associate with happiness, but I think if you could make endorphins sing it would sound like this. And TFC are also spectacularly good at ‘doing a pastoral’ without making you want to gag. They’ve made many great albums, but 1997’s Songs From Northern Britain stands out as a series of songs about getting out of town, taking a deep breath, and counting your blessings.
And with this new album, their first for five years, they’ve gone back to that idea. It’s not 100% bubblegum – though I’d love to hear them do that – and there are brass and strings to flesh out the guitars and keyboards. It’s their most consistent record for ages. But the songs I fall in love with are the ones that seem to exactly capture the feeling I get when I wake up and realise that it’s a beautiful day, or that there’s love and happiness enough to offset the grind and grit. And here is a sunrise, ain’t that enough? Sometimes it is. Course it is.
And there are so many of these songs on this record. I give you two, though the shortlist was almost the entire album, plus one that’s been around a bit longer.
And I hope it’s sunny where you are. And that it’s enough.
When I Still Have Thee – Teenage Fanclub – Shadows
Sometimes I Don’t Need To Believe In Anything – Teenage Fanclub – Shadows
Ain’t That Enough – Teenage Fanclub – Songs From Northern Britain