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Randolph’s Leap - Spirit Level

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 8 / 3 / 2021

Randolph’s Leap - Spirit Level
Label: Fika Recordings
Format: CD


Scottish folk-pop collective Randolph's Leap’s new album is full of catchy melodies and sunny skies

'Spirit Level', the new album from Glasgow eight-piece indie folk-pop band Randolph’s Leap, was a real mood-lifter when there was ten inches of snow on the ground a week ago. Its ten tracks feature heavily accented sunshine, punchy pop, humour, and friendliness without falling into tweeness. There are a few hints at darker feelings ('Up in Smoke', 'Too Good') but no sign of misanthropy anywhere. Cheerful stuff from a band whose name comes from a spot on the River Findhorn in Moray and a violent medieval noble family feud. Frontman and main songwriter Adam Ross has been compared frequently to the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, but he also resembles a more soulful Jonathan Richman. His attitude and delivery are unflinchingly honest, if sometimes bewildered and wistful. He just comes off as likeable. On many of the songs there is upbeat ‘80s synth-pop with what sounds old-school MIDI files ('BMH'), quiet folk ('Ghost'), sometimes juxtaposed with incredibly well-placed brass ('Moment Passed', 'Punchbag', 'Helluva Summer'), as if a mariachi band suddenly showed up. Instead of being a jarring musical combination, it totally works. Whatever anxiety the band may have been experiencing while putting the album together last year, none of it is evident here. 'Serious' is about a childhood friend who has become unbelievably boring since reaching adulthood and needs to be reminded about how much fun they used to have. On 'Helluva Summer, a bittersweet song about a long-distance love, Ross sings, “It’s been a helluva summer/And it’s only mid-May” and declares his desire to do nothing but “lie in the sun, watch the traffic, and wait for you to come home.” 'Spirit Level' is perfect listening for spring and summer’s lengthening days. It places Randolph’s Leap among the best in the pantheon of Scottish indie pop.

Track Listing:-
1 Moment Passed
3 Let This Lie
4 Serious
5 Ghost
6 Up In Smoke
7 Punchbag
8 Helluva Summer
9 Lungs
10 Too Good

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