There must be something in the water in Manchester at the moment. How else could one possibly explain the amount of great music coming out of there right now? Everything Everything have delivered the goods with their second album, one which will surely be up for discussion come next December; Egyptian Hip Hop delivered one of 2012's most compelling debuts; and acts such as Embers and Delphic look like they'll be having an excellent 2013. In short, the place is a hotbed of creativity. "But what has all this got to do with Dutch Uncles?" you ask. "Where do they fit in?"

Up until now, the answer to the latter question would most likely have been that they don't - but I doubt that they care. The quintet have always done things their own way, starting life firmly in leftfield with their eponymous debut, then finding themselves moving towards the fringes with Cadenza two years ago. They've earned a reputation for creating forward-thinking pop, but as far as Out Of Touch In The Wild goes, third time is indeed the charm. Their mathy tendencies remain - they just wouldn't be who they are without them, but lead singer Duncan Wallis has said that the album shouldn't be considered: "an overblown prog-math-rock-bloody-time-signaturete ideology."

Even if there isn't very much that is conventional about songs like 'Nometo', whose labyrinthine structure is typical of the band's approach to making music, it's easy enough to see where he's coming from: lead single 'Flexxin' reaches for the rafters with its passionate melodies, embellished by strings and stuttering rhythms. Inspiration has come from even more unexpected places, and the band have managed to fit in some unusual instruments. A few of the new songs find room for marimba, most notably 'Fester', the point at which the album seems to settle into itself. The new record is different enough to previous material that fans may well take time to warm up to it, even if there are moments, like the impressive introduction to album centrepiece 'Zug Zwang', which will strike a universal chord.

It's their most accessible work yet, so it's ironic that it could throw long-time fans for a loop. 'Phaedra' is piano-led and cinematic, one of the songs on which the scope of the band's ambition becomes clear - not that they didn't come off as ambitious before, of course; it's just that it seems much more easily realised this time. Out Of Touch In The Wild delights in its complexity, while at the same time sounding warm and welcoming - taking myriad twists and turns, but never losing its way. One never knows what to expect from a band like this, after all, and even if set of songs as shamelessly poppy and infectious as these will catch a lot of people out, it seems like this direction was the logical next step for the band. My first listen didn't count for much, and neither will yours - only when the album's layers start to reveal themselves is it capable of being regarded as a dazzling and constantly fascinating work.