A DANCING ON TABLES album was always on the cards. In the end it just comes down to timing. When to write. When to release. Nothing is straightforward.

The Dunfermline five-piece have made a name for themselves in recent years, going all-in on a single-first approach. They have been releasing tracks on a steady basis since their debut in 2016, turning heads with the likes of Don't Stop, Missing and Oh.

Their progress continued amid support slots for heavyweights Catfish and the Bottlemen. They were also booked to do a massive UK tour before the pandemic.

Still, the band used the enforced downtime wisely, retreating into a frenetic era of songwriting. And, before long, they would have all they needed. The final piece came last year as they signed a deal with California-based Enci Records. Everything had come together.

For Robbie McSkimming, one of band's two singers, there is a palpable excitement about the LP. It was the next step for the band, logically, but it is more than that. Any album is a showcase of the band's range – and for Dancing on Tables it is an incredible opportunity to step outside their tried and tested formula. To challenge themselves and to challenge what others may think of them.

"Some of these tracks will take people by surprise," McSkimming tells The Weekender, the sheer elation in his voice unfettered. The task of composing a free-flowing body of work was not only an enticing prospect to begin with, but an intriguing project throughout.

"We felt like full-time musicians," McSkimming adds. "Callum and I had Zoom calls every day and wrote, at least, 100 tracks for the album, which we've now whittled down to 13. We were both furloughed from what we do outside of music, so we were really able to get into it."

The phrase "long-time coming" is one that most musicians have become familiar with in the Covid world. Plans are always being put back and delays are commonplace. The result is a real desperation among artists to finally release their work – to let fans hear what they have had up their sleeve for more than a year.

The singer explains: "The album all really started about 18 months ago, and so it's all been pushed back. We were raring to go then, and it's been building for us all this time. We are just now desperate to get all this new music out there and show people the new Dancing on Tables and what we're all about now."

Being a "single" band comes with real expectation. Every track has to be the proverbial "radio-friendly unit shifter" and so the focus in the rehearsal room can feel a little constrained. Ideas that captivate the band members – though ones not likely to meet the commercial criteria – may be discarded, lamentably.

Dancing on Tables:- Robbie McSkimming (lead vocals, keyboard ), Callum Thomas (lead vocals, guitar), Hamish Finlayson (guitar), Gregor Stobie (bass, backing vocals) and Reece Dobbin (drums).

Dancing on Tables:- Robbie McSkimming (lead vocals, keyboard ), Callum Thomas (lead vocals, guitar), Hamish Finlayson (guitar), Gregor Stobie (bass, backing vocals) and Reece Dobbin (drums).

But, then, there's the album. An entirely new premise.

A full-length Dancing on Tables release will, of course, arrive with those signature trademarks for which the band is known. But not only that. It seems an entirely new side to the band is waiting to be discovered.

McSkimming continues: "Previously, we have released some ballads and some rocky songs – all tunes based on the ups and downs of how we were feeling at the time. But for the album, we've had to sit and ask ourselves: 'Right, what really is Dancing on Tables? What is our sound? What do we want to represent? And what message do we want to get across?

"That was all new to us and, because of that, it feels that the album all joins together. I feel that people listening to it will be able to hear and think: 'That's Dancing on Tables'.

"Working on an album… it's given us the freedom to work on ideas that we would have previously discarded. It would be a good idea, but you'd feel it's not really Dancing on Tables – or at least it didn't feel like the singles we had released.

"Now, a couple of these tracks are ones that we definitely wouldn't release as singles. There has definitely been that freedom to experiment and not have to deal with any constraints and worries that you couldn't push it to a radio station. And some of those album songs are the ones that mean the most to us, and the ones that are our favourites to listen to."

The pandemic period was certainly informative. In a sense, everyone has been re-shaped in their own way. Dancing on Tables took the time to write and had the chance to take new avenues when doing so. In so doing, they found a new gear as musicians.

"Writing tracks like these are one of the reasons we have looked forward to doing an album so much," McSkimming reflects. "Being able to write 13 tracks that have an overall meaning, with the album itself flowing from one to another, with its ups and downs… it's very different from where we have been in putting out a track that you need someone to love in the first 15 seconds, and if they don't you've had it and you have to just move on the next single cycle or the next EP.

"This album is a whole piece of work. It was just great to have the chance to do that. And, as artists and musicians, we have really matured through the whole process; we've had to change our way of thinking and our way of writing.

"Now, if we have ideas that are not the typical major single – not a "four to the floor" Radio 1 track that gets everyone jumping around thing – then that's fine. We have that album way of thinking and that's so refreshing."

A tentative release window for the album is set around September, with singles beginning to drop around March and April.