In a move that will later be shown to be embarrassingly hypocritical, I called Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) at his native Anstruther home from my Essex-coastal abode, a distance of 550km. We talked about the unique documentary that Kenny recently scored - the music of which formed his new album, From Scotland With Love.

The album stands alone, as does the film. But the full '3D' effect of the project emerges with the appreciation o the triangulation of the visual, the audible and the narrative (no plastic glasses required). The film features clips from a century of archive footage with no voiceover or interview; the narrative structure is provided purely through curation rather than a 70-minute storyline, as we are guided by the cinematic direction of Virginia Heath accompanied off-screen by our musical minstrel, King Creosote.

Kenny eloquently describes the film images waxing and waning, "it's like the music comes forward and recedes and the visuals come forward and recede [producing] a false 3D where your brain makes the connections." Virginia "was all about filling up and emptying, filling and emptying" he added.

The interview began with specifics and eventually spiralled into a general natter, where we set the world to rights about technology, mechanisation, the loss of industry and the short attention spans for which we are programmed in our modern culture. Yet, every so often we would return to our favourite portrayals of 'that creepy guy at the beach' or 'the guy who lights his cigarette with a blowtorch' or 'the picnicking couple that can't keep their hands off each other' which are found in the film, only some, because "the more times I watch [the documentary], the more characters I see that I would have liked to expand on."

Fans of Anderson's collaboration with Jon Hopkins on Diamond Mine, may consider this new melancholy love letter to Scotland a continuation of the Fife-centric, fishing village- inspired Mercury Nominated album from 2011. The esoteric stories and details that define the former pervade From Scotland With Love - as do the spine-tingling chords that transport you North of Hadrian's Wall and into the rooms and lives Kenny sings of. As an album, the majority of the tracks are slow and contemplative. Kenny and his hand-picked band had to second-guess what might be needed for the film and some of the atmospheric music that wasn't included in the final cut finds a home nestled amongst the album's livelier, narrative tracks. The three upbeat numbers, the debut single 'For One Night Only', 'Largs' and the mutually agreed favourite 'Bluebell, Cockleshell, 123' hark back to Kenny's earlier bluegrass-country roots and serve their practical purpose in the film as driving forces for changes of pace or a flurry of seaside frivolity.

Discussing the difficulty of not fully owning the music artistically, Kenny told me that he was advised at the beginning not to think of this project as just an album since the film project was commissioned first and the album put together from the resultant score. He shouldn't "be precious about it" and accept that "directors will cut up your songs". Interestingly, he stated "it's not a King Creosote album in that it's about my life" or as he later remarked his "little disasters". "I had to put myself in those films to make it make sense" he explained "it wouldn't help if I was just commenting on it." The strong sense of the film, and his connection to the past was audible as he surprised me by saying "in that film it's happening to them there and then. It's not really like looking at the past." He believes that although the film shows society has changed a great deal, with a vast reduction in hard labour and incredibly demanding industrial work, people are still driven by the same basic motivations:

"The thing that gets [them] through these back-breaking menial tasks are the same... everybody's looking forward to lunchtime, home, the weekend, the summer holiday, Christmas... the girl they saw twice at the canteen"

His ability to project himself onto these quasi-historical figures is to a large extent what holds the project together. In 'Bluebells, Cockleshell, 123', "my part was about a funeral which was a bit dark... the fact that we are watching girls on film who are in reality dead.. [who] in their skipping songs are singing about their own deaths." As he pointed out, we have all done the same without realising. Catchy and seemingly innocent rhymes such as 'Ring-A-Ring-A-Roses' actually refer to the sneezing and falling down now commonly associated with The Black Death. An unusual by-product of an aural tradition is that meaning often becomes secondary to the sound or the effect a story or song has on us.

As a musician, King Creosote's distrust for modernity is quite well documented and seems to have been a large part of the hook that drew him into this celebration of not only a Scottish, but a collective history. Kenny seemed keenly passionate about 'the old ways' - he was certainly very excited about the double-vinyl release! Throughout the film we are "constantly reminded of the fact that people don't have phones [and] they aren't commenting on their lives in the same way." I blushed with embarrassment down the 550km telephonic connection as I continued my note-taking rather more sheepishly than before. I further reddened when he continued "there's more to life than commenting... go outside and do something." I confessed my feeling of hypocrisy and he chuckled and gallantly pointed out that it wasn't my fault, it is a criticism of our modern age. "Being a reporter in those days [you would] be on site" and "would have the time to write... it's mechanisation that's taken away jobs, otherwise you would very much be part of the community." What a gentleman.

"People had communal working lives, they looked like they were having a blast and health and safety was out of the window. [Look at] the guys humphing coal down bouncing planks [in the film] or the guy lighting his cigarette with a blowtorch... people lived!"

The film sagely doffs its cap to a time where "everybody had a skill". To put it another way, "back in the day you had to take your chances and don't [eff] it up." This attitude to the way we live appears to be an important ground-rule to the inception of the poetic film. We went back right to the beginning where Kenny first discussed moods and direction. He asked "do you want them coming out [of a screening] saying 'thank god we've got computers and washing machines and health & safety insisting on ladder training' or do you want them leaving the cinema saying 'oh, what have we lost?' ... as a songwriter I veer towards the nostalgic every time."

"I don't believe that technology has made things better; it made them different... there was a point where everyone was producing something through the railways, but we reached a point where we took it too far."

When prompted on the effect the film's screening may have on young Scots, given the celebratory/cultural mandate for the project, he made the personal comment: "my daughter is very much the iPad, iPhone, TV, video-game [generation]. I hope she'll have a glimpse of life not that long ago."

Anderson practises what he preaches. If I was a little hypocritical by nodding at the sad thought of what has been lost in the technological rat race, he wasn't. Talking about his Anstruther surroundings, he told me at the end of the interview "that's what I really like about here, it's the fact that you can escape, people have to remember things" and his recent activity "in Crail emptying an attic ready for some roof repairs" only reinforced my suspicion that the King would be quite happy amongst the crowds on the Largs beaches or labouring on some remote farm, like those depicted in From Scotland With Love. No wonder he enjoyed walking a few miles in their shoes for this project, looking through their eyes and trying to recapture that atmosphere.

To discover the music for yourself, King Creosote's album is released on the 21st July, while the debut single 'For One Night Only' is already out in the ether. The film, which was first aired by BBC Scotland on the 22nd June, is still available to view on iPlayer. Furthermore, for the nightowls, or digital recorder-savvy among you, BBC Three will be replaying it at 1am on Thursday (the morning of the 17th July) which will make this unmissable programme, unmissable for a wee while longer. That's not all though. King Creosote will be performing a series of special gigs with his band playing the entire score of the film while it is broadcast at selected events.

The live broadcast accompanied performance dates are:

  • Tues 31 Jul 2014 - Glasgow Green
  • Sat 27 Sep 2014 - London, Milton Court - 4pm Matinee
  • Sat 27 Sep 2014 - London, Milton Court - Evening Show

The rest of the tour (which does not include the film screening) goes as follows:

  • Mon 06 Oct 2014 - Bristol, Thekla
  • Tue 07 Oct 2014 - Brighton, Komedia
  • Wed 08 Oct 2014 - Liverpool, Epstein Theatre
  • Fri 10 Oct 2014 - Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
  • Sat 11 Oct 2014 - Leeds, Howard Assembly Room
  • Sun 12 Oct 2014 - Nantwich, Words and Music Festival