OBAN quintet Washington Irving return to the stage tomorrow as they play the new Mugstock Festival in the north of Glasgow. The self-dubbed “electric folk” band are back on the festival scene having finished recording their latest album in New York.

Their slots at Wickerman Festival and Mugstock, followed by upcoming shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow at the end of the month, are to foreground the release of their as-of-yet unnamed sophomore LP.

The band, named after the 19th century author, caused a stir with their two-part album Palomides in 2013. Evoking Arcade Fire, The Pogues and Frightened Rabbit all at once, the band drew acclaim for their boisterous take on a roots-driven sound.

Praise was often reserved for vocalist and guitar strummer Joe Black in particular, whose inventive storytelling and pronounced dialect effectively accentuated the celtic folklore that they wanted to convey.

Black was far from home when speaking to The National this week, however.

“We returned from New York a while ago but I’m currently visiting Bosnia,” says Black. “The rest of the band are in Scotland, but I’ll admit that it’s rare for me to go back to Oban or the village nearby that I grew up in.”

The small west coast town is a clear source of inspiration for much of the band – with the exception of certain members from Aberdeen – and they’re one of few contemporary acts to repeatedly headline and pack out its local venue The Corran Halls in recent years.

Black particularly feels the town is “poorly represented in the arts compared to other Highland places”.

“Many of the nearby islands such as Mull and Lewis get a lot more funding for arts and music. I think most people in the town agree that there’s not enough going on. Remembering the place where we are from has given us grounding for when we go elsewhere though.”

Though he pays tribute to the area’s more traditional scene, Black admits that he “could never be content playing other people’s songs”.

This is understandable given the band’s musical ethos and almost literary style. Having moved to Glasgow in his late teens, Black believes the band have always offered their own unique take on the Scottish folk genre: “We love Glasgow, but we definitely felt like we were on the other side of things when we started playing here because our life experiences have been so different. We were keen for our music, especially Palomides, to authentically convey our roots.”

“It was good timing, really. Bands like Admiral Fallow and Three Blind Wolves were obviously coming up around the same time. It was easy for us as friends and musicians to vibe off of each other.”

This very sense of community actually proved a key factor in the band’s decision to record their new album abroad. The band spent the winter cooped up in a New York studio amidst minus temperatures, disregarding any tourist ventures in order to fully concentrate on what Black describes as a concept record.

“We didn’t want to focus on what our peers were doing,” says Black. “We wanted to make something that was an honest expression of where we are now as a band. We don’t even really consider ourselves ‘folk’ anymore and this record has an entirely electric set-up.”

The five-piece were also keen to work with renowned producer and engineer Kevin McMahon, who they only found out worked on Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight when they arrived.

“Getting over there and finding that out was pretty ironic,” admits Black. “Kevin was incredible though, even if he pushed us to near breaking point. He really got in our head-space and coaxed the music out of us. As pretentious as it sounds, we weren’t trying to be accessible. I wanted us to make something that was good and really meant something”

While tomorrow’s performance can hardly be considered a triumphant homecoming (the band played Oran Mor in Glasgow only a month ago), the show may well prove a timely reminder of why the band feel so at home on the festival circuit.

As well as their own shows this month, the band are even set to support American operatic punk collective Titus Andronicus in November.

“They’re definitely a band who inspire us,” says Black. “They’re punk and DIY to the bone and we really respect that, but their music also has an artistic vision. That’s exactly what we wanted to accomplish. We just can’t wait to tour again and re-engage with everyone.”

The band play Mugstock Festival tomorrow, Electric Circus, Edinburgh on August 28 and The Hug and Pint, Glasgow on August 29.