Teenage Fanclub have announced news of their tenth studio album, 'Endless Arcade', released 5th March via their own label PeMa in the UK and Europe and Merge in the US. To mark the occasion the band have shared a video for 'Home', the album’s captivating opening track and first single.
'Endless Arcade' follows the band’s ninth album 'Here', released in 2016 to universal acclaim and notably their first Top 10 album since 1997; a mark of how much they’re treasured. The new record is quintessential TFC: melodies are equal parts heartwarming and heart-aching; guitars chime and distort; keyboard lines mesh and spiral; harmony-coated choruses burst out like sun on a stormy day.
In the 1990s, the band crafted a magnetically heavy yet harmony-rich sound on classic albums such as 'Bandwagonesque' and 'Grand Prix'. This century, albums such as 'Shadows' and 'Here' have documented a more relaxed, less ‘teenage’ Fanclub, reflecting the band’s stage in life and state of mind, which 'Endless Arcade' slots perfectly alongside. The album walks a beautifully poised line between melancholic and uplifting, infused with simple truths. The importance of home, community and hope is entwined with more bittersweet, sometimes darker thoughts - insecurity, anxiety, loss.
Such is life. But the title track suggests, “Don’t be afraid of this endless arcade that is life.”
“I think of an endless arcade as a city that you can wander through, with a sense of mystery, an imaginary one that goes on forever…” says Raymond McGinley, one half of the band’s songwriters for this album alongside Norman Blake. “When it came to choosing an album title, it seemed to have something for this collection of songs.”
So how did the band set out to explore this Endless Arcade? Raymond: “The process is much the same as it always has been. In 1989 we went into a studio in Glasgow to make our first LP. Francis starts setting up his drums, the rest of us find our spots around him and off we go. Thirty years later Francis is setting up his drums in Clouds Hill Recordings in Hamburg. A few hours later we’re recording the first song. We don’t conceptualise, we don’t talk about it, we just do it. Each of us are thinking our own thoughts, but we don’t do much externalising. We just feel our way into it.”
Dave McGowan has been feeling his way into the band’s sound since 2004, mainly on keyboards and guitar, but the past two years have seen him take over on bass, his primary instrument. Francis Macdonald on drums was there at the outset. Although he has played and sung on record with the band previously, this is the first time Euros Childs has featured on keyboards across a whole Teenage Fanclub album.
“We were very comfortable with each other in the studio,” says Norman. “I think some of the playing is a bit freer and looser than on recent albums. Dave and Euros’ playing is amazing, and Francis on drums is really swinging. The whole process of making this album was very invigorating. Everyone in the band contributed a lot and the song arrangements came together really quickly. Everything felt fresh.”
- Endless Arcade
- Warm Embrace
- Everything Is Falling Apart
- The Sun Won't Shine On Me
- Come With Me
- In Our Dreams
- I'm More Inclined
- Back In The Day
- The Future
- Living With You