The Scotsman Sessions #57: Randolph's Leap

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts world shutting down for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Adam Ross, aka Randolph’s Leap, performs a new song called Hautausmaa in a forest just outside Luthermuir in Aberdeenshire.

Adam Ross, better known to lovers of witty, whimsical indie pop as Randolph’s Leap, has used lockdown most industriously to work on a number of songs, projects and collaborations, including recording two – count ’em – albums as he hunkers down at home in Aberdeenshire.

The first, (You Can’t Put The) Brakes on Love, was recorded over four days in March. Ross describes it as an “emergency” album, his gut reaction to the cancellation of all his tour dates, with song titles – Self-Isolation, Sustainable, Socially Distant – which attest to his preoccupations at the time.

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By early May, he had added Howling at the Sun to his catalogue, revisiting and reworking songs he had written over the past decade to mark the tenth birthday of Randolph’s Leap. The warmth and fullness of the arrangements across both albums belie their solo DIY roots.

Adam Ross, aka Randolph's Leap

For his Scotsman Session, Ross took his guitar into a forest just outside Luthermuir to perform a birdsong-embellished new song from Howling at the Sun. Hautausmaa (the Finnish word for “cemetery”) was inspired by a vivid lockdown dream which flashed back to a holiday he had in Estonia and Finland last year.

“I think it might have been a subconscious reaction to being stuck at home,” says Ross. “It seemed like the right song to pick since the incredible forests in Estonia were a big part of what made that holiday so special. The lyrics reference a mixture of real-life events and moments from the dream. I genuinely did hear wolves howling in Estonia and it made my blood run cold - I’ll never forget it.”

“I’m looking forward to being able to travel again,” he adds, “but lockdown has been a good reminder of how much there is to enjoy and explore on my doorstep so I don’t think I’ll be rushing to get on a plane anywhere when lockdown is over.”

(You Can’t Put The) Brakes On Love and Howling At the Sun are both available to buy now at www.randolphsleap.bandcamp.com

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