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The Pictish Trail's Secret Soundz Vol. 2 Due
Laurie Tuffrey , November 21st, 2012 11:10

Johnny Lynch gives us a track-by-track run-through of his new album, out in January; tour dates below

The Pictish Trail, aka Isle Of Eigg-based multi-instrumentalist and Fence Records bigwig Johnny Lynch, is set to release his second album, Secret Soundz Vol. 2, on January 21 via the Scottish label.

It's the follow-up to 2008's Secret Soundz Vol. 1, currently Fence's all-time biggest seller, and was recorded in a caravan on Eigg at the end of last year, beginning of this. It also sees Lynch expanding his already broad sonic palette, picking up tips from his intervening work with Adem in 2010.

Lynch has given us a rundown of the tracks, unpacking a little of their sounds and background:

1. 'Secret Sound #6'
A vocodered exclamation of "secret soundz" heralds a fuzzed-up dayglo instrumental, just like it did on the previous album. The idea was to mirror the first volume, y'see. The theme of recurring themes is a recurring theme.

2. 'Sequels'
Ten years is a long time in show business. It's an even longer time in obscurity. 2012 marked my ten years in making music, and this song was about the turn of the new decade, hearing alarm bells, waking up and pressing the big reset/snooze button in my head.

3. 'Of Course You Exist'
You know that guy that really gets on your chebs? Of coursei he exists. He's so vain, he probably thinks this song is about him. Unless he thinks it's about God… which just makes you want to slap him even more. In the face, with a red herring.

4. 'The Handstand Crowd'
Destroying yourself, night after night, takes its toll - particularly if you're hanging with folk who are hell bent on hanging themselves, too. If you can just make it through to daylight, you'll no longer be a sworded/sordid silhouette.

5. 'Wait Until'
The first song I wrote after Mum passed away. I think this one explains itself.

6. 'I've Been Set Upon'

This song is about being caught in the act. Almost every musician I've ever met has confessed their career has been built upon "getting away with it". The main fear is that their talent (or lack of it) will eventually be found out. Perhaps most would have expressed this with a song about an illicit love affair. I've chosen food.

7. 'Michael Rocket'
Quite an odd song, for me. Mum's eyes remained open when she died, and I was the first to see her. Those eyes were piercingly bright blue and hypnotic; her eyelashes thick and shiny, like beautiful spider's legs. The song is about staying indoors all day, and going out at night - only to find yourself removed from your friends and thinking about those eyes. Isolation in company is one o' they recurring themes, eh? (further reading: 'The Handstand Crowd' and 'Winter Home Disco' from the first album…).

8. 'Secret Sound #7'
This track, like all the instrumentals, was recorded for a short children's film. The director liked the sounds I used on the first album, so requested "more of the same, please". The film got made, but I don't think it was ever properly released. So I was left with a heap of unheard music. The idea with most of my instrumentals is to capture some sort of nostalgic sound, a forgotten audio memory. Some of my favourite records have these short instrumental interludes - and they often convey the feel of the album better than the songs (like Nick Drake's 'Horn', or 'Pick Up If You're There' by Mercury Rev).

9. 'I Will Pour It Down'
At the beginning of the album the sun rises, and now the light is drawing in. It's (sun)set in Cellardyke, but it could be any seaside town, I suppose. Actually, no it couldn't. It could only be Cellardyke. I wrote this song while I was still living in Fife… but, while recording it on Eigg, it became a bit of a 'goodbye'.

10. 'Long In The Tooth'
Of course, I never like to finish on the obvious closer. This is the oldest song on the album, oddly enough. I wrote it back in 2004 or 2005, and decided to re-record the song after I'd heard Kid Canaveral do a cover of it. It's the most exhausting to play live, though.

He's also setting out on a tour of England and Scotland after the album's release - here are the dates:

Thu 24 - Celtic Connections @ The Art Club, Glasgow
Fri 25 - Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy
Sat 26 - The Tunnels, Aberdeen

Fri 1 - Cluny 2, Newcastle
Sat 2 - The Harley, Sheffield
Sun 3 - Student Union, St Andrews
Fri 8 - South Street Arts Centre, Reading
Sat 9 - The Railway, Winchester
Sun 10 - Start The Bus, Bristol
Fri 15 - Continental, Preston
Sat 16 - Dalston Victoria, London
Sun 17 - The Roundhouse, London w/ eagleowl, Rozi Plain, Seamus Fogarty, Delifinger
Thu 21 - The Caves, Edinburgh