Watch the video for Pictish Trail's new single, Slow Memories

Pictish Trail announces his new record Thumb World, with the video for lead single Slow Memories which features Johnny Lynch as a thumb – glitter, beard and all

Video by Tallah Brash | 02 Oct 2019

Has Johnny Lynch, aka Pictish Trail, been abducted by aliens? Well, no, of course not. But the protagonist – a thumb (yes, you read that right) – in the video for his latest single Slow Memories certainly has been, and he wants to be reunited with the otherworldly beings from his past.

Just like this intrepid adventurer, so does Pictish Trail want to get reunited with his fans, so today he brings us a double helping of news. The follow-up to Future Echoes, his critically acclaimed and SAY Award-shortlisted album, Thumb World has been four years in the making and is due for release in the new year through Fire Records (21 Feb). As well as this, Pictish Trail has announced his biggest headline show to date which will take place at Glasgow's Saint Luke's on 17 January 2020 as part of Celtic Connections.

To coincide with the announcement of his fourth album Pictish Trail has shared the video for Slow Memories, the record’s eerie and sparkling lead single, which you can watch in the above YouTube player (click here if it’s not displaying correctly).

“The song Slow Memories is about attributing the desire to escape from normal life as surrendering to an ‘out-of-body’ experience, something outwith your conscious control,” Lynch tells us of the single. “Then choosing to remember the course of events in a different way, because you can’t face the truth. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

“Look, I don’t believe in aliens,” he continues, “but I find the idea of alien abductions quite amusing, and a fitting metaphor for the theme of this song. ‘Where were you last night?’ / ‘Umm, I was abducted by aliens?’ It’s quite a sad song, though, really. It was produced by Rob Jones down at his studio in Kinver, and features Kim Moore (WOLF) on viola."

Of the incredible video, which also features Lynch as a thumb, complete with beard, baseball cap and glitter, he tells us: “I had commissioned the illustrator and animator Davey Ferguson, aka Swatpaz, to do the artwork for Thumb World – designing a different character for each track on the album. Davey’s got an incredible knack for creating these wonderfully expressive figures, using just the subtlest of gestures – the slight wince of an eye, or the curve of a mouth."

"The video tells the story of a thumb who struggles to get back in touch with the aliens who visited him in the past," Ferguson tells us. "I took Johnny's beautiful, haunting track, along with his note about the desire to be abducted by aliens as a metaphor for surrendering yourself to the unknown in an attempt to escape from domestic life, and tried to create a wee film that was triumphant and sad and slightly less silly than my previous cartoons."

“I really love the video," Lynch proudly tells us, "and I get goosebumps every time I see the lightbeam from the spaceship come down."

And leaving us with this sneaky tidbit: "Look out for the Romeo Taylor easter egg," Lynch has certainly more than guaranteed we'll be rewatching the video until we've found it. Good thing the video and track warrant repeat plays.

Thumb World is released on 21 Feb via Fire Records
Pictish Trail plays The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, 11 Oct; Lost Map's Strange Invitation, The Bellfield, Portobello, Edinburgh, 12 Oct; The Spree Festival, Paisley, 13 Oct; Fat Sam's, Dundee, 24 Nov (with Steve Mason); La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, 25 Nov (with Steve Mason); Saint Luke's, Glasgow, 17 Jan (part of Celtic Connections)