Listening to the opening cut on Wild Pendulum, the sixth album from Scotland’s Trashcan Sinatras, you’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe this record crawled out from another time. From the semi-psychedelic title “Let Me Inside (Or Let Me Out)” with its Moody Blues-style harmonies, fuzz guitars and Beach Boys-style production, the opening tune feels like a perfect pop tune. The same could be said for virtually every song on this 12-track collection.

Maybe it’s because, in addition to all these bells, whistles and walls of sound, at the core of each track rests a series of real human emotions. “I Want to Capture Your Heart” doesn’t apologize for being pure and sincere, nor should it. “All Night” pops and weaves with a funky bass line and horns that summon the summery warmth of Tijuana Brass. The lyrics, meanwhile, are a plea to a DJ to keep us on the dancefloor just a little longer, giving us an excuse to stay up a little later and delay the inevitability of the next day. “The Neighbour’s Place” is a loner’s prayer as he searches for something to end the insufferable loneliness that’s too often disguised as staying in for the night.

“The Family Way” marries XTC’s ode to love and poverty, “Earn Enough for Us,” with a sweetness that’s decidedly McCartney-esque. “I’m Not the Fella” features an un-ironic lyric about a guy who sends a girl away because he wants true love and not a one-night stand. “What’s Inside the Box” offers something quite similar and if it begins to sound and feel a bit like schmaltz, that’s all part of the plan.

These are songs about promises and beliefs. There’s an assurance here that we can still remain hopeful for the future. The inevitability of death, economic hardship and all those things that keep us up at night don’t have to grind us down. It’s hard to imagine that in 2016 we could find ourselves diving headlong into a track called “Best Days on Earth” and subscribing to its optimism but it’s so good that we have no other choice. The same might be said for “Waves (Sweep Away My Melancholy)” or the closing “I See the Moon,” which is imbued with a child’s sense of wonder and tempered by an adult’s worldly knowledge.

There are some darker touches, such as “Ain’t That Something,” in which we’re reminded that death will take us all. The same is true for “Autumn,” but neither of these tracks are about resignation as much as they’re about acceptance. We have to keep moving forward despite these facts, and maybe because of them.

Trashcan Sinatras records have become a rarity in recent years. This is only the sixth album in a career that spans 30 years and it’s easily one of the band’s best. Let’s take these long spaces then in favor of having each collection and each song speak to our hearts the way these 12 pieces do. As the saying goes, you can’t hurry love and this album is love, through and through.

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