While the words do set the scene, Follow On is far from being just a showcase for James McKay's poetry. The big decision for poetry-and-music projects is how to handle the relationship between the two. At one extreme, the poet basically speaks the words to a song, with the music basically in the background. At another, poet and band take turns in the spotlight.
Faced with lyrics that refuse to fit into traditional song structures, it made sense for MQE's musical core, Dave Maughan and Alan Morton, to tend towards the latter option this time.
"I think of the album as a grow-your-own-movie kit," says James. "The poems plant seeds in the imagination and the music creates a huge fertile space for them to grow into."
And what a movie - Follow On's soundtrack is unquestionably epic: sometimes dreamy, sometimes sleazy, occasionally apocalyptic.