HOLING up in a flat during a bleak Scottish winter, plumbing one’s inner depths. Depending on your sensibility, this experience could either be cosy and peaceful or isolating and unhealthily insular.

This is the approach Chris Duncan took when recording both his Mercury Prize-nominated debut record Architect and follow-up The Midnight Sun, released in October this year. The latter displays a more electronic approach but retains the careful layering of the first album, making for what The Guardian described as a “contained universe of ambience and eerie euphoria”.

From that verdict, it is unsurprising to learn that the record was heavily influenced by the noir aesthetic of The Twilight Zone. Duncan says that his recording process “can get a bit much” at times but that the pros far outweigh the cons.

“I did plan on going to a studio but the nature of the album required me to work late into the night in my own space. The darkness and the iciness of the winter is evident on the record.” He adds another, non-musical benefit to the set up: “In a way it was good because it encouraged me to go out and actually see people.”

As for The Twilight Zone influence, it might seem strange that a 27-year-old musician would take inspiration from a 1960s fantasy and sciencefiction television programme but Duncan says it’s “always been at the back of my head to incorporate it into my sound”.

“I got into the show when I was about 13 or 14 after going on the ride at Disneyland, Florida (Tower of Terror). I’ve always had the intention to work that fascination with 1960s sci-fi into my music.” Several reviews have suggested The Midnight Sun is something of a tonic in tumultuous times but Duncan’s thematic motivation corresponded more to the personal than universal.

“The whole feel of the album is centred around relationships with other people. It’s based around things that happened between the first and second of my albums, to do with hard relationships and break-ups and stuff like that. It’s not hugely specific, though.”

Glasgow continues to be a “productive base” for Duncan although he’s a big fan of Brighton, home to his label FatCat Records, whose headquarters is a stone’s throw from The Argus building. The songwriter laughs that the label and his publisher conspired to “leave me out of the conversation” when submitting Architect for Mercury Prize consideration.

“It was a pretty big surprise. I got a pretty random phone call saying I’d been nominated. I didn’t even know the album had been put forward.” Did he feel any pressure when the time came to follow up the album with a sophomore effort?

“I tried to shrug that off,” he says. “The thought did pop into my mind that I needed to make something people would like as much as Architect until I got five minutes into recording. “Of course people need to enjoy it because that’s kind of the point.“I thought that if I lose fans with this record it wouldn’t matter too much, though. You can gain them in other places.”

The possibilities of synthesisers “really excite” the Scot, hence the decision to place greater emphasis on them on The Midnight Sun. Duncan has a wide range of instrumentation to choose from, having mastered piano, viola, guitar and drums among others. It helps, too, that his parents are both classical musicians. Or does it? Was this ever a burden growing up?

“The pros outweighed the cons,” says Duncan. “My parents were never overbearing about the classical side of things, so I listened to all kinds of music.”

In his considerable knowledge of both classical and contemporary music, C Duncan is an intriguing proposition. Venturing into the musician’s own Twilight Zone when he comes to Brighton is sure to be an immersive experience.

C Duncan, Komedia, Gardner Street, Brighton, Tuesday, January 31, 7.30pm, £10, 08452 938480