Love & Other Hopeless Things

MA 084CD MA 084CD

Following Open Up Your Colouring Book (MA 077CD/LP, 2014), Glasgow's magnificent Pearlfishers return with Love & Other Hopeless Things. It's their eighth on Marina Records -- a superb comeback full of masterful, classic pop music, driven by main man David Scott's exceptional songwriting and arrangements. The album kickstarts with its beautiful title track -- a song in the tradition of British songwriters like Paddy McAloon and Michael Head -- about ordinary people dreaming and drowning in the big city. "Another foggy Monday morning/ Sail the ferry to town/ And think of all the people's dreams..." The song is led by a Bacharach-like flugel horn motif played by Colin Steele who recorded an entire album of Pearlfishers songs in terrific jazz arrangements: Diving For Pearls (MA 082CD/LP, 2017). Love & Other Hopeless Things also features a beautiful string quartet which recalls the graceful understatement of George Martin's classic pop arrangements. "Could Be A Street Could Be A Saint" is a celebration of life during the pre-Christmas days on Glasgow's Sauchiehall Street. You can hear the influence of Scottish popsters Pilot whose stacked acoustics and harmonies defined pop sheen in the '70s. The track finds its counterpoint in "A Walk Into The Blue Night" where you enter a magical world of "sainted streets" where songs start to flow -- with an Ennio Morricone-like combination of minor key harmonies and orchestration. "You Can Take Me There" proves that you can create captivating soundscapes with just piano, vocals and a tiny bit of guitar. The track flows on a sublime Gilbert O'Sullivan groove -- also reminiscent of Laura Nyro, one of Scott's heroes. A long-lasting Pearlfishers tradition continues with the inclusion of a quirky instrumental: "A Woman On The Verge Of Becoming A Cyclist" (talking about quirky!) sounds a lost '70s movie theme --culminating in a brass band fanfare. Love & Other Hopeless Things also features two splendid songwriting-collaborations. "Once I Lived In London" was written with Bill DeMain -- Nashville broadcaster, Grammy-nominated author, and member of US duo Swan Dive; the beautiful piece of chamber pop recalls London in the '80s. "Sometimes It Rains In Glasgow" was written and performed with Joni Mitchell/Carole King-influenced Becci Wallace. The wistful ballad "Another Sunflower" closes the album on an emotional note. Revisiting the Pearlfishers' seasonal album A Sunflower At Christmas (MA 063CD/LP, 2004), this New Year's Eve song is augmented by a stunning string arrangement.