randolph's leap Clumsy Knot (LP + CD + Fanzine, £12.95)label: Lost Map Records
Begun on the fringes of a college music course in Ayr circa 2006, the now Glasgow-based Randolph's Leap is/are Nairn born-and-raised singer, songwriter and home-recording boffin extraordinaire Adam Ross - as sometimes aided and abetted live and on record by a seven-piece band that includes Vicki Cole (bass), Andrew MacLellan (cello, guitar), Iain Taylor (drums, guitar), Heather Thikey (violin), Ali Hendry (trumpet), Fraser Gibson (trombone) and formerly Gareth Perrie (keyboards, vocals, guitar). When not working in a cafe at a wind-farm, Adam ponders in song all from the neurosis of self-doubt to the simple joy of a sax-solo, the difference between barristers and baristas, the appeal of running away to the woods to live like a recluse and the idealistic romanticism of island life. Just over half of the songs on Clumsy Knot are home-recordings. However, don't be surprised to sometimes see the lesser-spotted Randolphs recording as a gang in such environs as producer/engineer Pete MacDonald's house (formerly a Polish Embassy and home to Teenage Fanclub), and (whisper it) even proper studios - with the exuberantly joyful 'Hermit' proving just what they're capable of unleashed upon pro gear (that is, knowingly-dodgy lyrical puns to the tune of "living like a hermit/ hermit the frog”). Tying together all these many disparate strands of the band in a comprehensive if not always necessarily elegant way - and you understand the title, Clumsy Knot now - Randolph's Leap's utterly delightful debut album is the strongest single statement yet as to just why this band are one of the most loveable new forces in folksome indie-pop. For the way it surveys everything the band are about, Adam describes Clumsy Knot as "my favourite album we’ve made," and we don't disagree.
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