As song titles go, Endless Arcade’s first single, Everything Is Falling Apart, was apt, capturing the situation that Teenage Fanclub found themselves in even before Covid-19 . Made up of three singer-songwriters, this evergreen Scottish band mislaid one: averse to touring, Gerard Love left, semi-amicably, in 2018. At the same time, fellow singing guitarist Norman Blake was breaking up with his long-term partner.
Beloved by Kurt Cobain during their grungier years, Teenage Fanclub have been responsible for some spectacularly tender love songs over their 11-album tenure – not least Blake’s I Don’t Want Control of You (1997). Endless Arcade dwells on the end of love, as hymned on multiple TFC albums; on stoicism in the face of this emotional catastrophe, or – on Raymond McGinley’s songs – our tiny place in the cosmos and the importance of eking joy out of everything.
“We had love that I thought was for ever, but it travelled 180 degrees,” notes Blake on the almost unbearably bittersweet new classic The Sun Won’t Shine on Me. “Don’t be afraid of this endless arcade that is life,” urges McGinley on the title track. Euros Childs, formerly of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, now a full-time Fanny, provides the madcap keyboard solo.