Now correct me if I’m wrong, but from my semester studying French in Year 7 the word Le Rambles is quite a highly regarded word. It’s French so it has got to be fancy, right? It means the act of using one’s soul to speak the truth, by letting the tides of the subconscious mind reveal itself on its own accord – I definitely didn’t make that up.
I hear you saying – “Uh, Jen it just means rambles, like random non-sensical dialogue.” Well yes I know that, but sometimes my poetic inclinations take hold and see that words never do justice to a feeling. This is the case with Le Rambles.
Walking down a different path, Le Rambles is a modest and polished new beginning for Berlin Bar Hounds – So rich, yet so bare, the single is an early sign of the artist’s newfound maturity.
Solo project Berlin Bar Hounds aka Jacob Borg, promises much from his first single. If you are an oz-indie enthusiast then that name should sound very familiar to you – Jacob is indeed the drummer from the forest rock band, Jinja Safari.
A calming wave of emotion is brought about by the simple and delicate piano melody, is supported by it’s lower counterpart in a more metronome-like tune, welcoming you into the debut single, Le Rambles. Before much anticipation brews up, in comes this deeply vibrant and dulcet toned man who has given himself no place to hide.
Our ears are graced by this resonating voice full of vibrato, alongside the complementary crescendo of pulsating percussion and hints of cordial guitar melodies. As a drummer, Borg knows the breathtaking ability of powerful drums as they manage to take hold of someone; the instruments’ pounding façade here doing nothing but empower someone from a broken down state to pursue a desirable uplifting spirit.
There has been the comparison or two that Berlin Bar Hounds sounds like The National, and yes I agree that could very well be the case, but he is so much more than that. At first glace he is a man full of contradictions, which only makes him even more intriguing. He adopts a quintessentially surfy vibe with his wavy blonde hair and he originated from one of the happiest bands I have ever known with their hippy, jangle-folk music. Yet here he is adopting a European identity; you know Berlin, the capital of Germany*.
Borg has managed to maintain elements from each world in an effort to make it his own– the allure of the oceans’ serene waves, the positivity that drives us to find the light in all potentially dreary situations and the creation of a sophisticated and all encompassing musical package suggests an appreciation for European chic.
It’s still early days in recognising Berlin Bar Hounds’ most charming factor, but from just this single, the signs are all there – it’s just up to you to piece together the elements that you like about the band according to your own musical taste. But I assure you, no matter what combination you come up with, there’s no faulting Le Rambles.
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*Editor: I can explain this contradiction. Germany is a nation famous for its beer, and Australia is a nation famous for drinking excessively and getting very messy in the process. Many bars in Berlin are plagued by Australians on various heinous bus tours and the name given to such Australians visiting Berlin is Kneipe Hund – translated to Bar Hound. Indeed, being a Bar Hound in Berlin is a quintessentially Australian phenomenon, so if anything, Berlin Bar Hounds is the most Australian name ever!