No, you’re not hallucinating. With a harmonica riff ripped right out of the 70s, “Baby Sunshine” flips us right back to the heady and hairy heyday of slick, sophisticated pop and disco, and properly introduces the world to Todd Fancey’s Love Mirage. It is the New Pronographers’ guitarist’s third solo album as Fancey, and is bursting with meticulously sourced sounds from the era.
At first blush, songs like “Dream All Night”, “Disco Angel”, and “Carrie” feel like perfect hybrids of nostalgia and novelty, but you’ll swiftly realize that they’re neither. In much the same way polyester resists wrinkling, Love Mirage is 100% irony-free. Performed with vintage instruments and strictly adhering to bona fide period production and style, Love Mirage is an impeccably crafted record above anything else. The smooth studio production techniques the 70s became known for can only do so much to dress up sub-standard songs, but Fancey’s tracks are a top-notch blend of saccharine pop sensibility and bittersweet songwriting.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the intriguing coincidence that Fancey released Love Mirage, a record whose album art references the opening credits to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in the same week that Mary Tyler Moore died. It’s happenstance of course, but poignant that these two events coincided. There’s an enduring easy-to-love, hard-to-forget attitude coursing through the album that in some ways feels as if Fancey has taken a baton that’s been passed him, and doing his part to keep a certain dream alive.