Do you think synaesthesia informs your writing? You also have a song about a great big storm called Great Big Storm. It’s beautiful. What do you think it is about storms that compels writers and artists to use them so often? >> To listen to Great Big Storm, click on the song title Certainly the descriptive side of things, trying to think of similes or turns of phrase that are a bit left field, but still emotive. I’ve had the line ‘your hands like books of matches, your hands like storybooks’ for a while, which to me is quite synaesthetic, but it hasn’t found it’s way into a song yet. Probably God, honestly. This huge titanic, unstoppable, destructive force from above. It makes you consider your place in the world and creates a kind of contemplative nature that is conducive to writing. Great Big Storm is a kind of true story though. An old friend told me her dad once stayed up all night on their farm nursing a horse through a very difficult labour, unsuccessfully, so I wrote the song after that. It’s about the aftermath of a storm, which is at once quite beautiful – the smell, the freshness, the knowledge you’ve survived something – but also quite melancholy and tragic. It’s a very melancholy song. Who or what inspires you? Harry Harris, recommend us an album. Photograph by James Drew Other musicians that I play with. Right now the scene is very rich and it feels good to be a part of, it makes you up your game, particularly as a performer. My big heroes are people like Adam Duritz, Richard Yates, Craig Finn, Warren Zevon, so going back to them always spurs me on. I think as a creator of things, you just never want to feel like you’re not working, you always want to be doing stuff, and surrounding yourself with people who are doing stuff, making stuff – you have to try to keep hitting that bar! Traces by Karine Polwart. A huge influence on me, and particularly this album. It’s incredibly produced and full of whip smart lyrics and great concepts. King Of Birds is told from the point of view of St Paul’s Cathedral across three distinct times – the great fire of London, World War II and the most recent Occupy movement. It ’s a towering piece of work. It also helps that Karine has a beautiful Scottish accent and could probably sing the phone book and make it work.