IN A booth in the Stravaigin in Glasgow’s West End a man and a woman are sitting. He is bare-headed and full-bearded. She is bob-haired and possibly familiar. He loves good food and German lager. She loves perfumes (“It sounds very shallow,” she worries). He is called Danny. She is Tracyanne. Reverse their names and you have the title of their new album. They’re here to talk about it.

It’s late afternoon and there’s a relaxed, school’s-out mood in the air. Tracyanne Campbell and Danny Coughlan are not long back from Berlin where they were promoting said album and talking about Brexit (“It’s something that you can’t avoid,” Coughlan admits) and now they are doing the same in Campbell’s hometown too.

Coughlan is based in Bristol and trades under the name Crybaby, while Campbell you will probably recognise as the frontwoman of Glaswegian indie titans Camera Obscura. But under the name Tracyanne and Danny they are in the act of reinventing themselves.

“It’s a bit weird that we are two songwriters and we decided to form this thing,” suggests Campbell. “Maybe a bit unnecessary. But I’m having a good time. I’m enjoying it. There are two of us and I feel powered up or something.

“When Power Rangers get together and make a Megazord,” suggests Coughlan.

“It’s like that,” agrees Campbell. It may not surprise you to know that both are parents.

They are clearly at ease in each other’s company. In conversation they chat and banter and now and again take a hand out of each other.

A working relationship has developed into friendship. “I think we really liked each other straight away we were quite relaxed with each other we had good chats and there weren’t awkward silences. There’s never an awkward silence actually. We never shut up.

“We’ve just become really good pals. We’ve been on holiday together with each other’s families. I know his kids. He knows mine.”

Time for an origin story. It begins back in 2013 with a handwritten letter, an old-school cassette tape and what you might call the Etsyness of the Glasgow music scene

“Someone told me in Glasgow the Scottish indie scene has this aesthetic where everything’s handmade and 1986,” Coughlan remembers. “I found an old cassette in a charity shop – The Smiths or something – and sent her the bones of a song. She wrote me a nice card back. Handwritten. I thought: ‘So, it’s true then.’

“We had a chat on the phone,” he continues, “and I just came up to Glasgow for a night. We just went straight to the pub and got hammered.”

“Sometimes you get offered stuff and it’s not right,” says Campbell. “But when I heard the song I loved it. I loved Danny’s voice. My gut was telling me to just do this.”

The result was not just one song but a whole album of them. “What’s really the point of bringing out one song?” asks Campbell. “Nobody’s going to bother with that.”

The album is worth bothering with though. It is a quietly gorgeous collection of songs recorded in Edwyn Collins’s studio up in Helmsdale. It’s a record out to have fun with the very building bricks of pop’s past. There’s even the odd sweaty eighties sax riff on Deep in the Night, courtesy of Sean Read, who co-produced the album with Collins and who of course has a spell in Dexys Midnight Runners on his CV.

Coughlan is 48 and Campbell 43. They have years of music-making behind them. And yet recording the album has been a learning experience for them both.

“I’ve actually realised, after 20 years of singing, I love doing backing vocals,” reveals Campbell with a touch of disbelief. “I would never have touched backing vocals with a barge pole before this. We’re not technically singing harmonies. We’re just singing notes and hoping for the best.”

The three of us spend some time talking about individual songs. The album opens with the line “I was walking through the rubble on a Saturday night …” Someone has obviously been in Sauchiehall Street, I suggest.

“That’s Bristol,” Coughlin corrects me. “Bristol can get quite tasty. That was actually about a fight I walked past in the middle of town. This mass fight. I remember walking around the periphery of it and seeing all these swings and blows not making any contact.”

What about It Can’t Be Love Unless it Hurts? “I remember standing under a window of my first love,” recalls Coughlan. “We’d just split up and I’d gone round to see her to make amends and this guy turned up in the street. She’d started seeing this guy. And I remember being absolutely heartbroken, staring up at the window all night, literally.

“Not in a pervy way,” he quickly adds. “I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. And obviously I laugh about it now ...”

But at the time it was terrible?

“Yeah. So, the idea of It Can’t Be Love Unless it Hurts … It gives you a tangible measure.

You don’t believe that now, though, right? “I used to,” admits Campbell. “It’s funny that people will tell themselves that’s what love is. ‘Oh, I feel like this, so it must be love.’ ‘He’s an absolute rotter, it must be love.’ ‘It’s got to be love because it makes me feel so awful about myself.’ No thank you.”

And, frankly, there are enough things in life that hurt without looking for others. The last time I spoke to Campbell was also in the Stravaigin five years ago. But a lot has changed since then. On that occasion her fellow Camera Obscura band mate and friend Carey Lander was sitting beside her. Lander sadly died two years later from osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. But she’s still present, on the new album and in our conversation. The song Alabama is a tribute to her.

“I had my band mate Carey in mind,” Campbell admits when the track comes up in conversation. “I like touring the world and I like touring the world with you and I can’t do that now. That’s what the song is about. But how lovely was it? It’s a celebration of what we did together but also making a point of how it’s gone.”

Which does rather beg the question, whither Camera Obscura? Is the band finished? “It’s just gone to bed. There’s been no big discussion about it or anything like that. All the boys I’m still in touch with them. We just haven’t really come to terms with discussing it. In many ways there’s nothing to talk about. It’s a no-brainer. We’re not making some big announcement that we’ve split up. I can’t really say anything about it.”

Does this album feel like a new beginning then? “It does. It really does. It’s daunting to start something new in your forties when you’ve only known one band your whole life and so to start anew is both liberating and magical, but also scary and made me feel very anxious.”

She shouldn’t be. The album is a sweet slice of retropop that fills a Camera Obscura-shaped hole in our lives and breaks off in interesting new directions. It’s a nod to the past and an embrace of a new future.

It’s all the more encouraging in a world where the music industry is a more difficult arena to navigate than at any time before. “It’s almost impossible actually in many ways,” suggests Campbell.

“I could let myself get really angry about it sometimes. It’s easy to make a record if you know how to write songs. It’s after that …

“That’s the hard bit,” adds Coughlan.

“But then there’s lots of positives as well,” concludes Campbell. “The positive is a 48-year-old dad and a 43-year-old mum can make a record and convince people to listen to it.”

Tracyanne and Danny is released on Friday. They play Saint Luke’s in Glasgow on May 31.