So welcome back, then, The Pictish Trail.
Johnny Lynch has sat at the heart of the Fence Collective for over a decade, in which time the likes of King Creosote, KT Tunstall and more have gone on to enjoy widespread critical and commercial success. The Pictish Trail, though, seems to be a rather more niche, cultish concern.
Perhaps that's down to his lack of adherence to the album format. Releasing a string of CD-Rs and other paraphernalia, The Pictish Trail released 'Secret Soundz Vol.1' back in 2009 marking an attempt to try something rather more concrete.
Now it's time for a follow up. The Pictish Trail - now located on Eigg - has been beavering away on new material, which reflects both the geographical and emotional shifts in his life. 'Secret Soundz Vol. 2' is out on January 21st, but ahead of this the songwriter is set to take part in a split seven inch single.
Sharing a slice of wax with Kid Canaveral - listen to their offering HERE - the single showcases two very distinct acts. The first sign of his second album, 'The Handstand Crowd' opens with the warm, wheezing tones of an accordion, while Johnny Lynch's voice is soft yet distinct, evidently Scottish yet open, universal.
It's an impressive effort. 'The Handstand Crowd' stretches to five minutes, yet each note, each word seems to have its own place. Economic rather than sparse, it unfolds at its own pace and finds The Pictish Trail sounding more confident in his approach than ever - obviously autobiographical, there's a tenderness here which is difficult to thrug off.
Listen to it now...
The Pictish Trail / Kid Canaveral split single is set to be released on December 17th.