Here comes the summer…

Okay, we’re in Glasgow so we’re probably legally obliged to underplay the length of our summer, perhaps suggesting that it’ll last as long as the new album by Randolph’s Leap. First of all, that’s a lie, we do alright for the sun up here…and if you’re complaining about the weather, you’ve picked the wrong place to stay.

Secondly, if summer is as bright and as uplifting as Cowardly Deeds by Randolph’s Leap, we’ll be doing alright.

Back of My Mind starts off the album and rather than doing all the work myself, why don’t you have a listen to it here:

Like A Human explodes to life near the end with a Mariachi feel which should bring Love to mind. Anything which makes me think about Arthur Lee and the lads is a positive thing and it’s a perfect example of the upbeat and over-reaching feel of the record/early part of the record. There’s a good sprinkling of brass throughout the record but it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

If you’re familiar with the band you’ll know that lyrical wordplay is their forte and this still the case. You could pick any song at random and find a line that catches the ear or makes you smile. For me, “try on this metaphor for size and I’ll metamorphosize” is exactly the sort of clever wordplay I enjoy and Goodbye has a wealth of intelligent, quirky and always charming lines and couplets to check out. Anyone looking for an album they can immerse themselves (stick on a pair of headphones and go for a wander in the sunshine the album is made for) will find that they’ll be picking out great lines and motifs at every listen.

Okay, we’ll just put the lazy comparison out there – if you’re yearning for the early days of Belle & Sebastian with welcoming stories and a giddy rush of unfolding words being played over engaging and interesting backing, this album is likely to tickle you. This is a record that’ll stand by its own merits and sometimes comparisons like that help no one, but if that’s the sort of thing you are into, I can’t see how you would fail to fall in love with Cowardly Deeds.

Of course, like all good summer or upbeat albums, when you scratch the surface and venture beyond the jaunty and pleasing exterior, there is a wistful sadness meandering along slowly. Shreds, Under The Sun and Regret deflate the optimism but they certainly don’t derail the momentum or detract from the album. In fact, these songs give the album more colour, creating a situation where adding fragility to the mix actually makes the overall product stronger.

If we all get through this year, the story is inevitably going to be of how many heroes we all lost, but there’s still been a lot of great music released this year, and we’re not out of May yet. Cowardly Deeds should be an album we look back on fondly when it comes to the year-end polls, reviews and lookbacks.

Randolphs Leap

And they’re going live in Glasgow this week…

The Cowardly Deeds album launch night takes place on Friday night – Friday the 20th of May – and it is an excellent line up with some of the best from the Olive Grove portfolio. Supporting Randolph’s Leap are Woodenbox and The State Broadcasters. I really like the most recent album from Woodenbox, and you can read a review here, but I’m very excited about the return of The State Broadcasters.

It’s been years since they’ve played live and it’s around 10 years since I first heard and saw them. I’ve a lot of time for the group and I take a lot of personal pride in breaking the band. I don’t mean that I’ve helped them to sell a lot of records; I mean that I’ve mentally broken them, which is shown by the fact that they cry every time I turn up at a gig. I have that effect on people.

I’ve spoken enough about the band over the years and it’s clear that my acts of persuasion aren’t convincing people to fall in love with them so I’ll shut up and let their music take over – go and have a look here.