Essential New Music: Fancey’s “Love Mirage”

Ironic or not, Fancey’s vision of ’70s disco on Love Mirage is cheesy fun. On the one hand, Todd Fancey, guitarist for the New Pornographers, is serious: about his love of vintage instruments, in particular keyboards (Rhodes, Wurlitzers, clavinets); about his fondness for period references to mirror balls, movies (“Carrie”) and phrases with “baby” in them (“Baby Love,” “Baby Sunshine,” “Turn Around Baby”); about his love for AM-radio-friendly late-’70s disco (think “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”—white-bread, breezy, orchestrated pop with a disco backbeat—although Fancey and fellow vocalists Angela Kelman and 13-year-old Olivia Maye aren’t the powerhouse singers that Elton John and Kiki Dee were). But he’s also winking on this, his third ’70s-obsessed Fancey album: For every loving “Disco Queen,” there’s a silly “Witch Attack!” complete with werewolves. Regardless, it’s hard not to smile at Love Mirage’s affectionate imitation of an oft-maligned musical era.

—Steve Klinge