EWAN MACFARLANE has a muse. And in the best possible way. It's something that has been the backbone of his life and something that still brings him contentment after so long.

The singer's relationship with his wife has been the steady ground on which he has built so much. A family, a career, a life. It is perhaps no surprise that this bond – all those experiences – was all the inspiration he would need when he started to work on his second album as a solo artist.

Macfarlane, also known for his time with Apollo 440 and The Grim Northern Social, launched a solo career with the release of his debut record Always Everlong in 2021. He will follow up on October 28 with Milk – a piece of work dedicated to his soulmate Jo and their enduring relationship over the past 22 years.

That said, the singer certainly did not see it coming.

He tells The Weekender: "I didn't have a clue what my second album was going to sound like. Then, all of a sudden, it started to make sense to me. I had written a whole bunch of songs and I realised that all these tunes were about Jo and I, or Jo on her own. I just thought I'd take it and see where it went.

"I'm sure everything has been done before, you are never going to break new boundaries these days. But whether there has ever been an album made about a relationship over that amount of time, I'm not entirely sure.

"It wasn't intentional at the time; I didn't set out to write an album like this, or anything. It just happened naturally. After half a dozen songs, I knew where it was going."

Macfarlane was delighted to see the project beginning to take shape, each new track becoming a soundtrack to another chapter in their shared lives. And though it is highly biographical in nature, the songwriter has a sense that much of the material will be relatable for others.

MILKING IT: Ewan Macfarlane will release his second solo album later this month, having drawn on his relationship with wife Jo for inspiration. Picture by David Stanton

MILKING IT: Ewan Macfarlane will release his second solo album later this month, having drawn on his relationship with wife Jo for inspiration. Picture by David Stanton

"I suppose it's a concept album," he adds. "I wanted to try and write a piece that was about the same relationship over an ocean's worth of time, really, as we're talking around 22 years.

"It's not a love album, or anything, as I think that would have bored people to tears. But I do think there will a lot of people who get a lot out of it. Some of it will be universal to all relationships and people will just get those things instantly."

Like all relationships, there are highs and lows – "mostly highs" according to Macfarlane. But in the very least there is a catalogue of memories or themes to call upon.

Whether it is the feeling of taking on the world, or disappearing into their own little world, every couple has been through much of the same. Macfarlane also reflects on the finer points of a relationship, from waking up next to each other, bonding over music, the thought of losing each other and, of course, getting into the odd disagreement along the way.

Macfarlane continues: "When you've been in a relationship for that long, then there is so much to write about, and I think the record reflects the relationship very well. Tangled, one of the songs, that tells the story of how we met, and the other songs fill the gaps over the 22 years.

"You could write a song about any given day. For example, Won't Stop Burning is about one night where Jo and I went into Glasgow to see The Snuts and how the evening turned out – word for word; that's what happened. So, if you can get a song out of four or five hours one night, then imagine what you can get over the course of 20-odd years.

"For me, personally, Milk is a celebration of my life with Jo. I wanted to document that. But it's not a mundane thing – the energy of the music will take you on a trip when you hear it. There are many different genres in there; a bit of subgenres and cross-genres. I think when you hear it, from start to finish, you'll get it as a whole piece of music."

Ewan Macfarlane will release Milk on Friday, October 28.