James Acaster stars in Pictish Trail’s “It Came Back” video (watch)
Doing promo for 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 may kick in, but you just have to white knuckle your way through inane, sometimes hostile questions. (See: Radiohead's Meeting People is Easy documentary.) That's the pitch for the new video from Pictish Trail, aka Scottish musician Johnny Lynch.
In the "It Came Back" video, directed by Sam Wisternoff, Lynch is doing a Zoom interview with comedian James Acaster for his fictitious show Piping Hot Releases, and things go south pretty quickly, first with the questions from Acaster, and then when connection issues arise, and Lynch is zapped into a surreal, glitchy world.
Lynch and Acaster, who actually does have a music podcast, are old friends and tourmates. "I love the way the video builds and builds, into this bleak, paranoid hell-scape," Lynch tells us.
As for the song itself, which is also glitchy as well as funky and very catchy, Lynch says it's about "preparing ourselves for recurring traumas, something that we’ve all been through these past few years." He adds, "I kept reading interviews with different artists saying they’d been recording new material over the various lockdowns, and deliberately avoiding the topic of COVID-19. Like we should be thankful for them avoiding the topic, or something. So I thought ‘F*ck it, let’s write a song about COVID-19, and about the possibility of us never ever escaping’. When there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes you just have to summon whatever hope dwells inside yourself, and walk into the darkness."
You can watch the video, which premieres in this post, and read more about it from Lynch, below.
"It Came Back" is on Pictish Trail's upcoming album Island Family which is out March 19 via Fire. Pictish Trail have tour UK tour dates this spring, and those are listed below.
Pictish Trail's Johnny Lynch on the "It Came Back" video:
Amazing work from Sam Wisternoff, here. He’s directed the visuals for all the videos on this album, and it’s been really fun collaborating with him. We share the same sense of humour, or - at the very least - he has the common decency to laugh at any jokes I make.
I’ve known James Acaster for a fairly long time. We toured together, alongside the comedian Josie Long, about 12 years ago - an epic run of 40-odd dates around the UK spread across 3 months. There was a car crash in the middle, a pretty harrowing experience, that involved a lorry carrying tree-length logs tipping it’s entire load on top of our vehicle, in a scene not dissimilar to those found in the Final Destination movie series. I’ve not actually seen any of those films, but when I recount this story in full-detail, it usually garners that comparison from someone. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t made 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 all three of us have kept in touch with one another over the years. As well as being literally the best comic of his generation, James is someone who passionately loves music, specifically music recorded in the year 2016. He wrote an entire book (Perfect Sound Whatever) about it, in fact, including an entry about an album I released that year, entitled Future Echoes. That was nice of him. The book spurred him on to start working on his own music again, and he got in touch last year to ask if I’d be up for contributing synth/electronic sounds to some tracks he’d been working on. I’m gonna see him in a few weeks when I’m down in London, as it happens, where he’s finishing up on 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 that sprung to mind, for the role of interviewer. I love the way the video builds and builds, into this bleak, paranoid hell-scape.
The song itself is about preparing ourselves for recurring traumas, something that we’ve all been through these past few years. I kept reading interviews with different artists saying they’d been recording new material over the various lockdowns, and deliberately avoiding the topic of COVID-19. Like we should be thankful for them avoiding the topic, or something. So I thought ‘F*ck it, let’s write a song about COVID-19, and about the possibility of us never ever escaping’. When there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes you just have to summon whatever hope dwells inside yourself, and walk into the darkness.
PICTISH TRAIL – 2022 TOUR DATES
22 Mar: Hare & Hounds 2, Birmingham, UK
23 Mar: Boileroom, Guildford, UK
24 Mar: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, UK
25 Mar: Louisiana, Bristol, UK
26 Mar: Omeara, London, UK
27 Mar: The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, UK
29 Mar: Bodega, Nottingham, UK
30 Mar: Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, UK
31 Mar: Cluny, Newcastle, UK
01 Apr: Gullivers, Manchester, UK
02 Apr: St Mary’s Creative Space, Chester, UK
03 Apr: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
07 Apr: Summerhall, Edinburgh, UK
08 Apr: Beat Generator, Dundee, UK
09 Apr: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, UK
10 Apr: Tolbooth, Stirling, UK
03 Jun: Junction 1, Glasgow, UK w/ Hot Chip
11 Jun: Eden Festival, Dumfries & Galloway, UK
01-02 Jul: Howlin’ Fling, Isle Of Eigg