A purgative surrender to nature’s whim driven by a clattering machine drumbeat and rolled in a puddle of filthy dirty fuzz, ‘Natural Successor’ is the riotous new single from isle of Eigg based Scottish psychedelic electronic-pop ogre Johnny Lynch AKA Pictish Trail.
Out on limited-edition 12” vinyl and digital platforms by Fire Records, with support from Johnny’s own label Lost Map Records, it’s the first taste of a set of brand-new Pictish recordings produced by longterm collaborater Rob Jones (The Voluntary Butler Scheme, The Gene Dudley Group).
The 12” single features exclusive remixes by Django Django and Makeness and will be available to purchase on Pictish Trail’s upcoming tour.
“‘Natural Successor’ is the first in a new batch of songs that is my attempt to reconnect with my surroundings and surrender to the forces of nature. Lockdown on Eigg will do that to you. For the accompanying video, I wanted to co-ordinate a shoot on the island itself – and when director Sam Wisternoff got in touch at the start of the year, keen to work on a project together, I sent him over this song and explained the direction I was going in. I was looking to create a family of characters to represent different natural phenomena, each determined to exact their disastrous revenge for the destruction to the planet I was causing as an individual.
For the design of the characters, Davey ’Swatpaz’ Ferguson was my first port of call – he’d worked on all the illustrations and animation for my previous album, Thumb World, and his work is that sublime mix of humorous and freaky. I requested some over-sized Frank Sidebottom style heads, something that looks larger than life, and he delivered a CGI smorgasbord of swollen-headed monsters – including a plate shifting crater-face volcanic eruption, a devastating tidal wave, a wildly overgrown green man, a plague-ridden dog-fly pandemic nightmare and a nuclear mutation Pictish casualty. Four different prop-makers brought these heads to life, including my friends Hailey Beavis and Faith Eliott of OK Pal Records.
For the shoot itself, I lured a group of good pals over to Eigg for a weekend of partying, and then forced them to take part in a music video as soon as they arrived, making sure there was plenty of booze involved (for morale). Surprisingly they were all up for it – even the ones that had to wear spandex suits. It was a dream team, with frequent collaborators Beth Chalmers, James Hankins, Ben Cormack and my partner Sarah, filming us across different locations on the island. Eternal love and respect to my cast of monsters – Claire, Craig and especially Sarah-Jane and Callum for wearing the spandex. The fight scene / cocoon hatching / dance routine is probably the finest work I’ve ever been involved with, and should surely bag us a Scottish BAFTA.
It’s been months and months of planning and scheming, and I’m really chuffed with the result. Don’t worry, I’m gonna get my money’s worth out of those heads – you’ll be seeing more of these characters soon.”