It's all about connection. Mauro Remiddi was struggling to stay in touch with much of anything toward the end of 2012; he'd come off a debilitating 8-month-long tour in support of debut album Strange Weekend, but he hadn't merely adjusted to the touring life; instead, it had consumed him. "I started having these imaginary conversations in my head with people I wanted to communicate with, but for some reason or another it couldn't happen" he explains.

The album's title refers to 'a condition in which a phone line is off-hook without connection for an extended period of time'. Remiddi had to disconnect from some things and reconnect with others, so he moved back home - i.e. his new home of New York - to get back to the business of creating music. The time spent on the road in support of his debut album had changed him. Ironically, he still felt detached, so he sold all his instruments and started afresh; that is to say that Permanent Signal has very little, if anything, in common with its predecessor. It's more expansive and evocative; it's essentially a complete reinvention.

Out go the majority of synths and electronics, to be replaced by a sound that's warmer and much more organic. The juddering, skipping chord that plays underneath opener 'Think of the Ocean' is as restless as Remiddi himself was, and it's then overtaken by a beautiful melancholy, a pounding 4/4 beat filling with deceptive energy. This is an album that was created from a feeling of placelessness, and there is an otherworldly quality to such tracks as 'Minor Pleasure' and the brief, polyphonic instrumental 'Warehouse', the latter standing tall as arguably the best representation of Remiddi's new, more spacious sound.

There is no denying that the Porcelain Raft project has entered a new phase; however, behind all this musical boldness and experimentation, there lurks a fragility that is almost omnipresent. Even the album's more muscular tracks, like the stunning, beat-driven pop of 'It Ain't Over', are shot through with a sense of brittleness, and when it fully rears its head on 'I Lost Connection' - a track on which Remiddi seems to be channeling the spirit of John Lennon - the effect is palpable.

There's room for some guitar, too: 'Night Birds' serves as the album's purest pop moment, its wistful guitar lines creating a sense of catharsis as Remiddi directly confronts the emotions that had built up inside him before he'd returned to writing music: "I've been living with these feelings for so long that I don't need to make sense of you anymore" perfectly captures the idea of feeling distant from one's surroundings; its surprisingly buoyant chorus can't mask its intense emotions.

For an album borne out of such uncertainty, the clearest signal it sends out is one of a man creating the most confident music of his career. The whole album focuses on change and readjustment, and this is a theme that ties in with the music, too; the closing pair of 'Five Minutes From Now' and 'Echo' are particularly surprising, as Remiddi produces the kind of music he wouldn't have dreamed of creating last year. With Permanent Signal, he's reconnected with tantalising possibilities.