Randolph’s Leap - Real Anymore (3 stars)

Randolph’s Leap - Real Anymore

Cheerful and sugary journey into twee lyrical playfulness

(Olive Grove)

There’s a sense, with Randolph’s Leap, that lead singer Adam Ross is constantly trying to see how far he can push the envelope of twee lyrical playfulness before it makes you tear your hair out. On this new seven-track mini-album, there’s at least one line per song that’s designed to make you either wince or giggle at the archly engineered wordplay. The opening line of the album (from lo-fi voice-and-guitar number ‘Conversation’) sets out this stall early: ‘You’re as subtle and discreet / as an elephant in heat’.

From there, we get multi-rhymes (‘Let’s go out and trade in machinery / and glossy magazinery for scenery and greenery’, from the horn-adorned title track, ‘Real Anymore’), groanworthy puns (‘It’s not an exact seance’, from country waltz, ‘Psychic’) and cheerfully forced rhymes (‘Who would’ve thought a man of my stature / Could be so in love with nah-ture’, from the bouncily upbeat, er, ‘Nature’). Even the token serious song, aptly named ‘Winceworthy’, can’t resist distinctly pronouncing every syllable of ‘porcelain’ to rhyme with ‘force a grin’.

It’s cheerful, sugary and, yes, highly twee stuff – Ross’ vocals take centre stage, but he ransacks the entire folk-pop toybox to back him up, with handclaps, gang vocals and Stylophone solos all getting a look-in. Closing track ‘Indie King’ (its signature lyric rhymes ‘quandary’ with ‘Michel Gondry’) adds programmed drum loops and synth bleeps in there as well, but it’s a carefully crafted stab at ‘hipness’ – the lyrics of the song tackle the charges of twee head on, stating that ‘nothing pleases everyone / so let’s go out and have some fun’.

Ross then chucks in a ‘lalala’ group chorus, a built-in dance break and a reference to Juno, proving he’s a man who likes to have his hand-decorated, crochet-patterned cupcake and eat it too.

Randolph’s Leap play Doune the Rabbit Hole, Cardross, Fri 23 Aug, and The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, Fri 6 Sep.

Elsewhere on the web