John Lynch, aka The Pictish Trail, runs Fence Records with King Creosote, moonlights in another band, Silver Columns, and was once a standup comic. The second Pictish Trail album has a similarly multiple personality, skitting from electronics to anguished drum-machined fuzzy rock to Velvet Undergroundy feedback, and finally to gentler moments that, most of all, suggest the flowering of a Scottish Bon Iver.
Where the first Bon Iver album was created in a remote Canadian log cabin, Lynch recorded Secret Soundz Vol 2 in a caravan on the Hebridean island of Eigg, where he pondered life's ups and downs, and the best songs here have a similar, if anything more pronounced, sense of beautiful desolation. Wait Until, the first song Lynch wrote after his mother's death, is spookily ethereal, his words about "the last chance to say goodbye" ghosting by over distant electronic pulses. I've Been Set Upon sounds similarly hushed and eerie, but the sublime I Will Pour It Down – Lynch's paean to riding his bike into the sea – has a strange, compelling, existential beauty.
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