SINGER-songwriter Findlay Napier remembers going out for a jog one day through the Necropolis.

“I’d go up the hill and try to reach John Knox. I could never quite make it that far, and that became my bar to judge how fit I was getting,” he says.

“One day I made it to the top, partly because I’d seen these kids, goths, walking down the hill towards me. I thought they were going to take the mickey out of me but instead they started shouting encouraging things, and they got me up the hill.”

And this is why Findlay’s brand-new album, Glasgow, opens with a song written for them, and entitled Young Goths in the Necropolis. It begins with the peal of the Cathedral bells, recorded one Sunday morning at John Knox’s feet. The opening lines: “Up there in the graveyard where all the weirdos go/ I saw you making footprints in the freshly sprinkled snow.”

Glasgow is an unusual album by an unusual songwriter. Napier showed his songwriting gifts on his 2015 debut solo album, VIP, whose subjects ranged from Hedy Lamarr to the Japanese soldier who continued to fight the Second World War until 1974. The Sunday Herald has praised his “songcraft and wit in the Difford and Tilbrook tradition” and the Irish American Times described his music as a “beautiful amalgam of Scottish soul, funk and folk.”

Napier’s magpie eye has alighted, for the new album, on many Glasgow institutions - not just the Necropolis but also the Blue Lagoon fish and chip shop at Central Station, the old Locarno dancehall on Sauchiehall Street, and the fabled Clyde shipyards. One of the most interesting songs, Wire Burners, is about homeless people who exist by collecting and selling scrap metal from construction sites.

Napier has covered other people’s songs, too, from The Blue Nile’s A Walk Across the Rooftops to Emma Pollock’s Marchtown and Hamish Imlach’s Cod Liver Oil and the Orange Juice.

Napier, 39 next month, was born in Glasgow, in 1978, but he and his family almost immediately relocated northwards, in Grantown on Spey. As he grew older he made the occasional visit back to the city of his birth before deciding, aged 17, to live here full-time. The city has been his home now for 21 years.

“I was talking to Boo [Hewerdine, his friend, collaborator and producer] about what we should do as a follow-up to VIP,” he says. “I had lots of songs and had the idea of doing a band album, but he said, ‘It might be a good idea to do something simple that reflects what it is you do live’.

“I said I had had an idea of doing an album about Glasgow, and about being in Glasgow, and Boo immediately said, ‘That’s it’. The minute we started talking, we started drawing up a list of songs.”

Emma Pollock’s Marchtown is another interesting choice; Marchtown is the original name of Strathbungo, on the city’s Southside, where Napier now lives.

Another song, Glasgow, by Julia Doogan (“one of Glasgow’s hidden songwriting gems”, he says) refers to streets readying themselves for another fight “between the boys in blue and green and white”. The song comes to his mind whenever there’s an Old Firm game on.

There’s More to Building Ships, one of six Napier originals, was inspired by a chat with his father, a marine engineer and occasional builder of ships, about bringing the Clyde yards back to life. Napier snr worked at Kvaerner’s yard and at UIE, the old John Brown’s yard, and was also chief engineer on boats that had been built at Ferguson’s yard.

“For the song I wrote the opening line, ‘There’s more to building ships than smashing champagne of the stern’. When you look at the photographs and you go to the library and go through all the books, that’s all you see.

“But it’s a different story when you talk to the people who were involved in shipbuilding. My brother-in-law Mark’s father and brother were. It wasn’t very nice, it wasn’t pretty: it was cold, and dirty and hard.”

So many different aspects of Glasgow in the album’s11 songs, then. “The album is like my personal photograph of the city,” he says. “I tried to get as much humour in as possible, because I’ve always felt that that has been an important part of it.

“I didn’t want to make it all doom and gloom and dirt, although Glasgow has that dark side. That’s what so brilliant about the cover picture, by Raymond Depardon [of the Magnum picture agency, which shows a couple of Glasgow tenement kids blowing bubble gum].

“You see the black tenements in the picture, which I remember seeing when I first came down as a kid. You see the dark backdrop, and the humour shining through.

“The picture was taken in Govan, on the corner of Luath Street and Howat Street, looking north to Taransay Street and the shipyard wall. The photo of me on the back cover, and most of the ones on the inside, are taken in exactly the same spot, 30-odd years later.”

“I made a few visits back to Glasgow when I was younger,” he adds. “I remember coming down here to see the Garden Festival in 1988, which was amazing. I saw something about it the other day and thought, bloody hell, that was 30 years ago next year.

“Sauchiehall Street was still black, it was only later that they cleared it up. I can remember cars on Buchanan Street, and a big board along where St Enoch’s Square is. The St Enoch Centre was either being built or finished, and I went in maybe a couple of years later and seeing a skating rink. So I have lots of these really strange memories of Glasgow.”

Napier adores the Southside. “It’s just glorious – trees, and greenery,” he says.

“Plus. of course. a never-ending supply of the most fantastic home-style curry!”

* Glasgow is released on Cheerygroove Records.