Album Review: The Pictish Trail


The Pictish Trail -‘Secret Soundz Vol. 2’ (Fence)

So, it would be terribly easy to be flippant about this release and simply state that it’s the follow-up to the Fence head honcho’s debut (hence the ‘vol.2’ bit). But that would be missing the point and doing Johnny Lynch a terrible injustice.

See, the reality is that this is really a rather beautiful and really wonderful album. Like many Scots artists, melancholy and beauty run through his work (I could reel off a list of names here, but that would be missing the point. Go and do your own research.) The term ‘folktronica’ has become derrided and sneered at -but what our hero does here on his second album is to produce an album that ably mixes, well, folk and electronica, and produces something really great. And the thing is, you can mix up styles as much as you like -but at the end of the day, it’s still important to be able to turn them into coherent songs, dammit, and this album certainly succeeds on that.

Some tracks like ‘Wait Until’ have more of a definite experimental electronic feel, while others, such as ‘Sequels’ and ‘Of Course You Exist’ are more of an investigation into how folk music might sound. And sure, this album will be poured over by Fence’s ever-growing band of devotees, and lauded and parised in Scotland -but if there’s any justice, the reach and adoration will be far further afield than that.


Secret Soundz Vol.2
is released by Fence on January 21.

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