THE last four pictures Jamie Hyatt posted on the home page of Cumnor's Glasshouse Studios, which he runs when he isn't being the front man for Family Machine, weren’t shots of bands rehearsing, but breath-taking views of the surrounding countryside at twilight, with captions like "this is getting ridiculous", "this view is starting to get in the way of work" and, eventually, "probably not a bad thing really".

At 43, having become a father for the second time in July (his first is now three) and after spending a year wrenching the legendary hilltop studios back from the brink to restore them to their former glory, Mr Hyatt is definitely entitled to take a few evenings just sitting and admiring the idyllic vista from his office window.

It’s those views that are encapsulated in Family Machine's long-awaited second long-player, Houses that You Lived In: the first words of opening track Friends with the Wolves are "make friends with the wolves, they live in the walls, don't they/ just stare at the sun, just stand there all day, always".

The second track is about going for a really long walk, then walking home again - lovely.

Like great Oxford bands before them - This Town Needs Guns with Animals, and Stornoway's Beachcomber's windowsill, Family Machine have been seduced, and rightly so, by the natural world surrounding and often threatening to invade our quaint city.

In Jamie's own words: "Houses That You Lived In is about living and dying. It's about the little stories that are in the big life story that we are all in the middle of.

"It's about the fear, the joy and just the general feeling that everything is just as it is."

Track three, Quiet as a Mouse, definitely nails the fear element, being about breaking into someone's house while they're in it, then just watching them.

The Oxford four-piece have certainly done a fair bit of living since they last graced us with a release - their 2008 debut You Are the Family Machine.

Since then they've toured the UK and abroad, supporting Gaz Coombes, Stornoway, Mark Gardiner, Frank Turner and Noah and The Whale.

Hyatt adds: "Houses That You Live In is the culmination of several years of experienced musicianship, song writing, and live performance that can be heard in every raw beat, pluck and nuance."

Their last live show, reviewed by the Oxford Mail, possibly did more justice to that claim than the record ever could - playing to an intimate crowd at Cowley Road's Restore cafe at a one-of-a-kind gig, the family's delicate acoustic machinations arrested the audience, giving tingly sensations all round.

Let's hope they can capture some of that magic with their album launch show at the Bullingdon, Cowley Road, on Wednesday, September 23.

*Houses That You Live In is released on August 28 via the Beard Museum label.