Both the pleasure and frustration of Lightning Dust’s first two albums derived from how scattershot the songs were. Brooding and despondent one moment, they would suddenly spike in tempo and mood the next. Maybe that’s why “Fantasy,” the third release from the Vancouver indie-rock duo of Amber Webber and Josh Wells, is so satisfying as a whole album. It falls on the gloomier side of synth-pop, sounding right at home alongside the new Austra record and the soundtrack to the Ryan Gosling film “Drive.” Webber, whose dulcet voice quivers and quakes and gives the music its emotional core, ruminates on a love in particularly tender terms here. On the opening “Diamond,” she’s both gutted and resigned to the dead end she has come to: “Whisper to me that you’ve had enough/ Apologize that you’re not in love/ If it’s just the chemicals in our brains/ Slow, stay.” Elsewhere, the album throbs with a nocturnal pulse (“Loaded Gun”) mixed with delicate washes of celestial beauty (“Agatha”). (Out now)
Lighting Dust performs at Church on Sept. 13.