I’m not sure quite why some acoustic acts work for me and some don’t. But I am certain that Randolph’s Leap DO.
It has to be said that Adam Ross seems to be developing into a Scottish indie-folk equivalent of Robert Pollard as every few months seems to bring another Randolph’s Leap record. The latest is the limited edition ‘As Fast As A Man’ mini-L.P. out on Olive Grove Records.
The first thing to say is that it’s not a full band Randolph’s Leap record. Instead it’s a close to solo record although Adam is accompanied on most tracks by violinist Heather Thiker.
Whereas bits of ‘The Curse of the Haunted Headphones’ sounded either ridiculously lo-fi or throwaway (or even both) AFAAM sounds neither despite the stripped back approach.
There’s none of the exuberant pop that I like best about the band. Instead much of the joy comes from Adam’s witty lyrics as the backing is restrained. There’s a plaintive element to a lot of tunes, not least the chorus of ‘Weatherman’.
It’s a fragile record for the most part but there are occasionally other colours added to the mix, such as, for example, the subtle fuzz guitar on closing track ‘Come Midafternoon’.
I did worry about the lack of the uptempo songs but the record works very well as a coherent suite of under-stated songs.
Definitely worth checking out if you like this indie-folk thing – and maybe even if you don’t.