This review of Tepid on my Trippin’ heels by local Cambridge DJ Dave Hammond for his blog ‘The Smelly Flowerpot’ is a joy.
For the last seven years, she’s been working on her new album, which was actually released in the period between me pausing The Smelly Flowerpot and starting this series of blogs. It only seems fair I should write a review, seeing as I didn’t get chance to play any tracks on the show. ‘Tepid On My Trippin Heels’ is the name of the album, the title apparently inspired by a friends suggestion to write a follow up hot on the heels of her previous album in 2013, the tepid referring to the seven year gap. Clawing back my memories of school, if I were to draw a Venn Diagram featuring a set of musicians including Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny and Vashti Bunyan, sitting in the middle and sharing some commonality with all of those artists would be Naomi Randall. Which isn’t to say she hasn’t got her own voice and sound. Throughout the album, her soothing and beguiling vocals illicit many emotions- the joy of ‘Fond and Fancy’, suffering on the rather hymnal ‘Devil’s Fountain’, sadness on the incredibly moving ‘For a While’ etc. Though many of the tracks are based around an acoustic strum and that voice, this is so much more than just a folk album. There are many facets to the songs which only reveal themselves on repeated listens. The faint, distant harmonies that lend an other-wordly feel are a feature, as are the guitar effects that gently swoop in and out of songs- imagine a super chilled Robert Fripp bleeding through from the room next door. There are other ambient sounds at play and some delightfully flighty keyboards which add a pastoral psychedelia to proceedings. It’s the kind of album that floats deliciously by, time standing still during its 37 minutes or so. If finishing the album on the beautiful but sad ‘For a While’ isn’t your thing, then heed the smart advice of Naomi on her website and go straight back to the more joyful and uplifting first track, ‘Fond and Fancy’. Of course, it means you’re then trapped in a perfect circle of her music, but if time has stood still, what’s the problem? Buy the album now through the link below.Dave Hammond
The link below will take you to the full review
Dave’s Favourite Releases of 2020
Here is what Dave wrote about ‘Tepid’ in his list of his favourite 22 albums of 2020. I’m among great company, you can view the whole article here:
4. Naomi Randall- Tepid on My Trippin’ Heels. This release from Cambridge based Naomi comes seven years after her previous album, hence the album title, jokingly suggested by a friend. It mixes several strains of folk (traditional, freak, pastoral, psychedelic) to mesmerising and beguiling effect with some lovely instrumental flourishes. There’s an ethereal beauty to some songs, especially those with minimal backing, while others draw you in with their ability to relate tales and snippets of stories which capture the imagination. Naomi’s voice is captivating, an attractive mix of folkie with a dreamy hippy quality. On her Bandcamp page (and on the sleeve of the album), she suggests the success or failure of the album should be left to the listener’s judgement. This listener judges it a resounding success.