Spirit Level

by Randolph's Leap

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    NB: this repress is only due back in June 2021 (sorry, vinyl manufacture lead times are huge currently), we'll ship them out as soon as we get them, but you'll have to make do with the download for a little while...

    Pressed on "eco-mix" colour 12" vinyl, using recycled vinyl pellets, every copy will be slightly different, and could be any colour(s) but black... That's tucked safely inside an inner sleeve complete with lyrics, credits and more. All sealed and with a download code inside!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Spirit Level via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
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      £16 GBP or more 

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    4 panel all card digifile CD.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Spirit Level via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      £10 GBP or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £7 GBP  or more

    You own this

     

  • Limited edition 12" vinyl
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Pressed on sky blue and white splatter 12" vinyl, inside a inner sleeve complete with lyrics, credits and more. All sealed and with a download code inside!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Spirit Level via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

1.
Driving in my car, eating breakfast on the go I've got dry skin and dandruff and lo and behold I announce my arrival in a snowstorm of dead skin and crumbs Standing in line to pretend I'm fine Trying to appear like my conscience is clear I'm nodding along and grinning through my bleeding gums Maybe we should figure out how long this lasts? When we pull the trigger or has the moment passed? When my dull opinions are mirrored back at me I feel real, I feel safe, I feel dangerous and free But I am a man devoid of original thought This house is cold and it smells like mould The foundations crumble but I mustn't grumble Come on, I'm ready, hit me with all that you've got Maybe we should figure out how long this lasts? When we pull the trigger or has the moment passed?
2.
BMH 02:57
Don't deviate from the plan, you need to act like a man and escape your bubble You know I'm stylish and hip but I am losing my grip and it feels like trouble My Scandinavian stove is multi-fuel, My caramel is salted and my pork is pulled Home's where the heart is but my heart's in a hovel I like Big Momma's House, too, but I prefer the novel I won't get down on my knees and I won't grovel I like Big Momma's House Two, but I prefer the novel I built a bookcase at home, it likes to creak and to groan under moderate weight Is this what they call shelf doubt I'm feeling now? Help me out, I don't feel so great I took another reading on the spirit level It said "You're mildly depressed but you're a handsome devil" Home's where the heart is but my heart's in a hovel I like Big Momma's House, too, but I prefer the novel I won't get down on my knees and I won't grovel I like Big Momma's House Two, but I prefer the novel
3.
Let This Lie 03:21
Sitting on the train in conversation with my brain You know, today I think I'm doing fine I drink a can of Deuchers as we're pulling out of Leuchars Yeah, I'm travelling on the east coast line You can treat me as you wish, oh I'm feeling like a fish There's so much water in the rain There are plenty reasons why I'm just not your kind of guy But it doesn't mean I don't feel pain Crossing at the bridge in a carriage like a fridge I'm taking this for what it is The water is so deep, I've been kind of losing sleep I can't believe we've seen the end of this The day they pulled you out I was lost without a doubt I was struggling to stay upright And, though my nerves were wrecked, I was full of deep respect Maybe now I might do something right I don’t know if I can let this lie Seems like you were born to say goodbye
4.
Serious 02:12
I used to like you back when we were kids, I used to like you, yeah I really did But now that you've grown up, you're really serious I used to like you back when we were young, we used to have a lot of crazy fun But now that you've grown up, you're really serious I don't know what went wrong, it hasn't been so long I used to feel so strong but now I don't know what to do We reconnected on an email chain - disappointment and a little pain To find that you've grown up and now you're serious Ok, I will admit it blew my mind. It's not the sort of thing I thought I'd find And now I'm stumbling round, I am delirious I don't know what went wrong, it hasn't been so long I used to feel so strong but now I don't know what to do I used to like you back when we were kids. I used to love you, I really did But now you're really serious
5.
Ghost 05:02
I passed under the electrics, they were flickering noisily Like a moth trapped in a lampshade or a taser low on battery I drifted like a ghost through the streets of the town Maybe a ghost of the early 2000's in corduroy so brown Dynamic situations, solutions-based Non-linear information, it all seems such a waste This disco has been disconnected and this party's parted ways with me I could hardly not be affected and I know just how it feels to be The one and only stationary object in a room of greased and oiled parts Well now I'm here to terrorise your mothers and steal your daughters’ hearts Franticly googling pensions and low interest loans Part creature by Jim Henson, part Booker T. Jones And I know that the lonely way sometimes feels like the only way Yeah I know that the lonely way sometimes feels like the only way
6.
Up In Smoke 03:05
I’m really, really, really well adjusted I should know because my prison guard and I discussed it On second thoughts you know I can’t be trusted I write lines because they rhyme and now I think I’m busted Hail to the waves that crash and roar Hail to the sun we’ll see no more I should apologise for how I acted You poured your heart out but I was distracted All my anxieties have been compacted And I don’t blame you for how you reacted Hail to the seabird on the wing Hail to the songs we’ll never sing Cos it all went up in smoke…
7.
Punchbag 02:27
Everybody’s talking about getting out We just want to get back The grass is always greener on the other side Ours is scorched and black But we don’t need exaggeration There are simple explanations I’m a punchbag for your frustrations now I could never be the one you want me to be I could never do that We all have a hill on which we’re willing to die Mine’s a yoga mat What do you make of this location? We’re the entire population Let’s declare a brand-new nation now!
8.
It’s been a hell of a summer and it’s only mid-May You said the world’s getting dumber, well that’s easy to say You talk of global psychosis, getting worse every day It’s a gradual process, slowly wearing away Like the white cliffs of Dover falling into the sea Well, I’ve been thinking it over and that’s unusual for me All I want to do is lie in the sun Watch the traffic and wait for you to come home It’s been a hell of an autumn and it’s only mid-June And if you haven’t got them, you’ll be getting them soon That strange mix of feelings that come round every year And leave us all reeling and shaking with fear Of the oncoming season and the doom it will bring Well, I’ve been thinking it over and I’ll see you in spring All I want to do is lie in the sun Watch the traffic and wait for you to come home
9.
Lungs 04:32
Pull out your lungs and show them off The crowd will roar each time you cough Make friends with those who piss you off Down on your knees and lick the trough It’s a long walk home from this It’s gibberish, it makes no sense Eating a crepe don’t make you French You ripped your jeans jumping the fence You claimed it back at taxpayers’ expense It’s a long walk home from this Conspiracy and cover-up Please urinate into this cup We never lied, we never would Except, of course, for your own good It’s a long walk home from this
10.
Too Good 03:27
With the sun on your back, you laughed along with your friends How could you have ever known the meaning of time? With you standing there, you cast a long thin shadow I saw you in a dream again, you were doing alright It was all too good to be true A life without fear, well at least that’s how it looked to me When I saw you on the stage in an attic one night They said you could be moving round from town to town Suspending all our disbelief in favour of hope It was all too good to be true

about

Spirit Level is the new album from Scottish folk-pop collective Randolph’s Leap.

Spirit Level is an upbeat, melodic indie-pop album full of personality, catchy hooks and memorable lyrics, rich in textural, polyphonic arrangements, and capturing the infinite charm of Adam Ross, the leader of this 8-piece band.

As a core songwriter with a large ensemble, Adam Ross may draw comparison with Stephin Merritt or Neil Hannon, while mining the rich Scottish seam of Postcard Records and C86. And as with contemporaries King Creosote or Withered Hand, is unafraid of drawing on folk music’s story telling tradition, detailing the minutiae of life’s fluctuations, here packaged up in glorious, anthemic and energetic pop.

The titular ‘spirit level’ is a steady reference point over what had been an unsettled spell writing the album, with Adam Ross uprooting from a decade in Glasgow to a tauntingly lopsided house in rural Aberdeenshire, navigating his way through shifting phases in his well-being and happiness, and reflecting on the untimely death of two greatly admired acquaintances. That balancing act came in the form of music, in an optimistic, even celebratory, collection of songs.

The move to Aberdeenshire roots the album, with Let This Lie reflecting on mortality during a train journey along Scotland’s east coast, to the nostalgia of parts of a life left behind in Glasgow on Punchbag. “I also had a weirdly contradictory feeling of wanting to get even further away – like maybe we weren’t remote enough and we should move to an island or something. It was just a classic “grass is always greener” situation. A bit of existential boredom, maybe. Fantasising about a new life to distract myself from my current one.”

Recorded over a period of a year in Glasgow with keyboard player Pete MacDonald engineering, mixing and producing the sessions at home, the album went off to mastering in the nick of time: the following night Pete’s flat went Up In Smoke in a massive fire, taking everything bar Pete (and his pet hedgehog, Frida) with it.

Album opener, Moment Passed, sets the tone for the whole record, with Adam’s protagonist struggling to present a balanced outward appearance while disorder bubbles beneath the surface. Spirit Level, despite its carefully poised 10 tracks and balanced artwork, prefers to revel in life’s quirks and imperfections.


“The next generation of witty Scottish indie pop” The Quietus

“A band deserving of every shred of love and success which came Belle & Sebastian's way” The Scotsman

"The Jonathan Richman of Scottish indie" The Herald

credits

released February 26, 2021

Adam Armour-Florence - drums
Adam Ross - songs, vocals, guitars, keyboards
Ali Hendry - trumpets & vocals
Andrew MacLellan - electric guitar & vocals
Fraser Gibson - trombone
Heather Fox - violin & vocals
Pete MacDonald - keyboards & vocals
Susan Appelbe - guest cello & vocals
Vicki Cole - bass

Recorded by Pete MacDonald & Marcus MacKay
Produced & mixed by Pete MacDonald
Mastered by Jon Huxtable
Photography by Greg Ryan
Design by Vicki Cole

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