Naomi Randall is a Cambridge native who debuted in 2013 with an album she shared with Tom Gaskall. Randall continued working with other local folk musicians, all the time developing her own songs, and now she releases her solo debut. And what a debut it is! This album was brought to my attention by Canadian folkie Bonnie Dobson – who knows a good song – and, right from first listen, I was enchanted. Randall is very much in the English grain, the music and lyrics having a gentle, wistful quality. Imaginatively recorded so to emphasise the atmosphere of each song, Randall’s voice is quirky but has a bell-like clarity, holding the listener’s attention as the songs unfold.
The term ‘psych-folk’ has been overused, but Tepid on My Trippin’ Heels fits it perfectly. Songs like ‘Devil’s Fountain’ and ‘Cabbage White’ recall certain 1960s era troubadours but don’t try to emulate them. Instead, Randall has her own voice and her songs, both traditional numbers and originals, work well for her. It is a perfect album for winter.