In Glasgow's Merchant City, the lasses have their legs out.

Some lads sport shorts as well. The prevailing conditions suit my mission to quiz the unassuming musician behind Electric Cables, a new album by a new band called Lightships. Its 10 tracks are all gently floating melodic summer rock, chiming arpeggios and swooping flute with titles embracing the words "sunlight", "blossom" and "photosynthesis". There is even a track called The Warmth of the Sun. The man is called Love, and he might have ordered the weather to suit his promotional schedule.

Gerard Love is better known as the bassist, and one of the trio of songwriters, in Teenage Fanclub, the west of Scotland combo whose career now stretches back well over 20 years and a much-loved back catalogue. There have been rumours of a Gerry Love solo disc for some time and the occasional wry chuckle at its extended gestation period, so it is a consideration that the absence of his name on the sleeve is partly a response to that. While far from defensive (Love is too laidback for that) he starts out by denying that it has really been such an epic journey. But later it emerges that Laurence Bell of Domino Records first proposed a Love album some 17 years ago, while Stephen Pastel, whose Geographic imprint operates under the Domino umbrella and has released Electric Cable "suggested the reality of it", as Love puts it, a good few years back. "I couldn't refuse the offer," says Love, but he concedes that it is only relatively recently that he's been inclined to think that he'd be able to do it.

Now, however, he hopes that Lightships will continue in parallel with his commitments to Teenage Fanclub. There are just two live appearances scheduled, at Glasgow's CCA on May 4, and in London on May 8, but more dates in the autumn are in his mind, once recording dates with the Fanclub towards the end of the year are scheduled. The band on the new album has original TFC drummer Brendan O'Hare, Belle & Sebastian's Bob Kildea on bass, guitarist Dave McGowan and flautist Tom Crossley, alongside Love's own guitar and keyboards. The live version, he says, will be a seven piece, with former Soup Dragon Jim McCulloch adding his clarinet as well as other instruments. Love clearly sees Lightships as another band rather than a solo side project.

The way the album began perhaps made that inevitable. Back in 2008, Love was offered a bargain fortnight's recording time at the residential studio in Norfolk owned by Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins – the advantageous rate was an adjunct to the creation of Teenage Fanclub's most recent album Shadows at the same place immediately before. Inviting the nucleus of Lightships to work with him, the backing tracks of all bar one of the songs on Electric Cables were recorded in the available time, and then they lay, gathering a sonic patina, for a while.

"The album might have been very different if I had done it immediately, but I didn't start working on them because I was trying to work out where to go.

"I never expected the album to be a solo thing in a singer-songwriter acoustic guitar way. I like adorning songs and was looking for a very textured sound, so that was why it had a long evolution."

Nonetheless, Love does play guitar on the album, with one eye to performing the songs live. Over the years with the Fanclub, he has learned that his own songs have to have simpler bass parts so that he can sing at the same time, and he adds more complex bass work to songs written by the others.

"The guitar is more dynamic, and it was a different experience for me. Everyone wants to be a guitarist – all bassists do, anyway! Besides, Bob is a much better musician than me, so his bass-playing made the songs better."

Love is not so much self-deprecating as charmingly honest about his own limitations and how they affected the making of the album. A love of early synthesiser sounds, as demonstrated by the two Rileys (composer Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air and The Who's Baba O'Riley) led him to employ layers of old 70s technology.

"I am extremely limited on keyboards, and if you can only hold down one chord, using those effects make you sound more fluent."

Just as crucial to the dreamy sound of much of the album is the flute of Crossley. The instrument is often, unusually, the dominant voice in the mix.

"Tom was always part of the record. I always liked the way the flute was used in early Mercury Rev records – it can be so like the human voice."

It certainly blends well with Love's light tenor tones on these songs, in the way that Love and his co-producer Bal Cooke (drummer with A Band Called Quinn) have recorded them. The bulk of that work, the "adorning", was completed in a couple of months in 2010 in the La Chunky studio in Glasgow, using the full capabilities of modern digital technology.

"It took me a while to get used to the clarity of digital sound," Love admits, "but it is a much quicker way of getting from A to B, and you can produce releasable music much more cheaply."

Not that Electric Cables sounds in any way cheap. Rather it is lush, with Crossley's flute, occasionally partnered by McCulloch's clarinet, the icing on the summery cake. And if you come to it through a fondness for Teenage Fanclub, it is unlikely to prove a disappointment either.

"A couple of the tracks have ended up sounding closer to the Fanclub than they should because I followed my instinct," says Love, specifically citing Sweetness In Her Spark, which has been chosen as the Lightships' debut single. "But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and my taste is part of the mix that goes into Teenage Fanclub. It's not as if I wanted to do a jazz album."

Just as "instinctive" was Love's approach to the lyrics, which is something he put off to last.

"Writing lyrics is a task and I have to sit and concentrate, close myself in. And I did want to improve on this record, although I have never really worked in comparison to the others," Love starts to explain, before saying that he was not consciously telling a story (although there is undoubtedly a common theme of lyrical nature imagery running through the album) and that perhaps the words are "more personal".

"The music suggested the mood of the lyrics," he adds, as the last word in justification of a piece of work with which Gerard Love is clearly quietly pleased.

"I'm someone who has served his apprenticeship," he says.

Lightships' Electric Cables is out on Monday on Geographic. The band plays Glasgow CCA on May 4, supported by Snowgoose.