PERHAPS it’s something to do with reaching your 40s and seeing the generations shift: a desire to look back over your life and work out, to paraphrase the title of musician/director Cora Bissett’s recent Fringe hit – “what you’re made of”.

So though Colin MacIntyre aka Mull Historical Society has long lived in London with his American wife, in the photographs accompanying the forthcoming release of his new album Wakelines he wears a T-shirt with the word “islander” across his chest.

The follow-up to 2016’s Dear Satellite, Wakelines is a solid pop album where soulful, emotive numbers such as new single Little Bird nestle alongside upbeat songs such as Wetlands Urban Fox and the instantly catchy title track, a song that reflects on the trials of folk forced to leave their homes.

READ MORE: Freakender festival promises to be a bit of a do

Home is a constant theme of the album, and MacIntyre’s upbringing on Mull is also explored in The Boy In The Bubble, a short memoir he wrote for Hometown Tales, a series of books published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson pairing newer authors with more established names.

“The album title Wakelines in part refers to the child inside when I would wake early to watch as my father left the island for his weekly work at the BBC,” says MacIntyre.

His dad Kenny was BBC Scotland’s political correspondent for 10 years. His sudden death in 1999 was the inspiration for Loss, his son’s debut album released back in 2001.

“I missed him dreadfully,” says MacIntyre. “The songs are about family, and home and islands, dreams, travel. In both music and words it has been the most creative time I’ve ever had.”

MacIntyre speaks to The National while he walks to Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square Gardens where he has a date at the book festival reading from his children’s book The Humdrum Drum. A couple of years ago the book festival presented him with their First Book Award for The Letters Of Ivor Punch, a novel set on Mull which MacIntyre says he has recently adapted for the stage.

The first song he wrote for Wakelines is the poignant 14 Year Old Boy, which is about the day his dad brought his first electric guitar home from the mainland.

“My dad had missed the last ferry and had to get this boat which couldn’t take him right into the shore,” MacIntyre says. “He had to wade the final part. I remember seeing him with this water-soaked suit, holding the guitar above the waves. It was a Fender Telecaster. Whenever I play the guitar even now I still expect an electric shock, to be plugged into the mainland, to be the 14-year-old boy again with his dreams”.

READ MORE: Here are the 10 Scottish Album of the Year nominees

It’s a story you imagine Bernard Butler would appreciate. The former Suede guitarist produced Wakelines, and is even set to appear at some dates on MacIntyre’s tour. It’s the first time self-described “control freak” MacIntyre has allowed another to have such influence on his work.

“I had a feeling about the album that I needed to get somewhere new, he says. “It was Bernard who realised what I was saying was I needed to get under my skin, lay myself bare.

Sep 20, Hug and Pint, Glasgow
Sep 21 Pleasance Bar, Edinburgh, 7pm, £15. Tickets:
Sept 22 Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, 7pm, £10. Tickets:
Oct 27 Tobermory Book Festival, Mull, 10.30am, £10.