Promoting your new album comes with the territory of being an artist, as does doing interviews with journalists, podcasters, etc. who may not have done their research. The fight-or-flight instinct can kick in, but you just have to fight your way through inane, sometimes hostile questions. (See: Radiohead’s Meeting people is easy documentary.) This is the pitch of the new video of Pictish Trailaka Scottish musician Johnny Lynch.
In the “It Came Back” video, directed by Sam Wisternoff, Lynch does a Zoom interview with the comedian James Acaster for his fictional show Hot piping outletsand things go south pretty fast, first with Acaster’s questions, then when connection issues arise, and Lynch is zapped into a surreal, glitchy world.
Lynch and Acaster, who actually have a music podcast, are old friends and touring buddies. “I love how the video constructs and builds itself into this dark, paranoid hellscape,” Lynch tells us.
As for the song itself, which is as glitchy as it is funky and very catchy, Lynch says it’s about “preparing for recurring trauma, something we’ve all been through for the past few years.” He adds, “I kept reading interviews with different artists saying they had recorded new material during the different lockdowns, and deliberately avoiding the subject of COVID-19. As if we should be grateful that they avoid the topic, or something. So I thought, ‘F*ck it, let’s write a song about COVID-19, and the possibility that we’ll never escape.’ When there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes it is enough to invoke the hope that dwells within, and walk in the darkness.”
You can watch the video, which premieres in this article, and learn more about it from Lynch, below.
“It Came Back” is on Pictish Trail’s upcoming album Island family which will be released on March 19 via Fire. Pictish Trail have UK tour dates this spring, and these are listed below.
Pictish Trail’s Johnny Lynch in the “It Came Back” video:
Amazing work by Sam Wisternoff, here. He did the visuals for all the videos on this album, and it was really fun collaborating with him. We share the same sense of humor, or – at the very least – he has the common decency to laugh at every joke I make.
I have known James Acaster for quite a long time. We toured together, alongside comedienne Josie Long, around 12 years ago – an epic series of around 40 dates across the UK spread over 3 months. There was a car accident in the middle, a pretty harrowing experience, which involved a truck carrying tree logs dumping its entire load on top of our vehicle, in a scene not dissimilar to those found in the Final Destination film series. I haven’t seen any of those movies, but when I tell that story in detail, it usually elicits that comparison from someone. I’ll be honest, it didn’t make me want to watch any of the Final Destination movies.
Anyway. A shared experience like that – IF IT DOESN’T KILL YOU – brings you closer together, and the three of us have stayed in touch over the years. Besides being literally the best comedian of his generation, James is someone who loves music passionately, especially music recorded in 2016. He wrote an entire book (Perfect Sound Whatever) about it, in fact, including an entry on an album I released that year, titled Future Echoes. It was nice of him. The book inspired him to start working on his own music again, and he contacted me last year to ask if I would be willing to contribute synth/electronic sounds to some tracks he was working on. I’m going to see him in a few weeks when I’m in London, in this case, where he’s finishing the final mixes.
For ‘It Came Back’, Sam came up with the concept of a Zoom interview gone wrong, and – being an ardent fan of his music podcast, Perfect Sounds – James was the first person who came to mind. , for the role of interviewer. I love how the video builds and constructs itself, in this dark, paranoid hellscape.
The song itself is about preparing us for recurring trauma, something we’ve all been through for the past few years. I kept reading interviews with different artists saying they had recorded new material during the different lockdowns and deliberately avoiding the topic of COVID-19. Like we should be grateful for them avoiding the topic, or something. So I thought ‘F*ck it, let’s write a song about COVID-19 and the possibility of us never escaping’. When there is no light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes all it takes is to invoke the hope that dwells within and walk in the darkness.
PICTISH TRAIL – 2022 TOUR DATES
March 22: Hare & Hounds 2, Birmingham, UK
March 23: Boileroom, Guildford, UK
March 24: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, UK
March 25: Louisiana, Bristol, UK
March 26: Omeara, London, UK
March 27: The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, UK
March 29: Bodega, Nottingham, UK
March 30: Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, UK
March 31: Cluny, Newcastle, UK
April 01: Gullivers, Manchester, UK
April 2: St Mary’s Creative Space, Chester, UK
April 3: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
April 07: Summerhall, Edinburgh, UK
April 08: Beat Generator, Dundee, UK
April 9: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, UK
April 10: Tolbooth, Stirling, UK
June 03: Junction 1, Glasgow, UK with Hot Chip
June 11: Eden Festival, Dumfries & Galloway, UK
01-02 July: Howlin’ Fling, Isle of Eigg