The songs are in reverse chronologic order, starting with a new track called 'Coastal California 1985', a piece which fits frighteningly well into the stable of other Matinee Records artists such as Northern Portrait and Bubblegum Lemonade. 'Across The Paper' is a lovely ukelele number, telling the story of a break-up but in a whip-smart way, with the lyric "I could of been just right for you, you just didn't know it yet" anchoring the sentiment.
'Movie Ending Romance' is jangle pop at it's finest, a 2-plus minute piece of perfect pop music, Seattle's answer to Stuart Murdoch. 'Graduation Day' swells with Bert's litling voice and a string arrangement that doesn't overwhelm the musicianship. 'Sixteen and Pretty' is gorgeous and goosebump inducing, a story of youth, love, and vulnerability told from a boys perspective. When the music stops and Bert sings "I'm kissing my first kiss, I'm wishing my first wish", you realize it's not the music that makes these songs so good, it's Berts voice.
The final song, 'Weekends Away', is the oldest song on the album, but bookends the newest song 'Coastal California, 1985' spot on, with the lyric "we'll drive all night and let the miles stretch out behind" tying the album in a perfect bow.
Musically, the band have clearly been raised on a diet of the finest indie bands and are not ashamed to wear their influences proudly on their chests (which is not a bad thing here). The Smiths/Morrissey shine brightly on 'When We Get Famous”, 'Graduation Day' and 'Nothing Really Happens', while Belle and Sebastian certainly infuse both the title track and 'Baby I’m Yours'.
There’s also a nod to Jens Lekman on 'Sixteen And Pretty' and 'Across the Paper', but it is the songs that aren’t as easily traceable that leave the biggest mark such as 'Do You Keep A Diary?', 'The Sound of Snow' and 'Coastal California, 1985', all of which are pure joy.
If like me, you have worn out your Lucksmiths records, then this album is definitely one for you. Indeed 'Weekends Away' not only steals its title from the opening line of the Lucksmiths’ 'Southernmost”, but also takes inspiration from their classic 'A Year of Driving Languorously'.
I’ve not even got round to mentioning probably one of Math and Physics Club’s best loved songs – the sweet jangle of 'Movie Ending Romance', but I want to get out into the sunshine, wind the windows down and drive down leafy country lanes heading to a forgotten sandy cove with this album as my soundtrack.
So far this is easily the best compilation album of the year and quite possibility the only one you’ll need in 2016.