In the winter of 2011, Jesse pulled a beat-up, old cassette deck from a pile of snow in Brooklyn. A few months later, at a festival on the Baltic Sea, he met Yvonne.
Chance – the occurrence and development of events in the absence of any obvious design.
Yvonne Ambree was performing at the Baltic Soul Festival with soul legends Gwen McCrae and Ann Sexton, while Jesse Barnes was there while touring with New York-based Eli “Paperboy” Reed and the True Loves. The two met backstage just as Jesse and the band were running vocal warm-ups before their set. They took the stage and Yvonne disappeared into the crowd. A few weeks later in Glasgow, Jesse and Yvonne crossed paths again. This time they hung out after the show and would stay up all night, sharing stories of their lives back in Brooklyn and Berlin.
One year and half dozen trips across the Atlantic later, Take Berlin has finished their debut Ep, Lionize. Drawing inspiration from the writing of Louis L’amore and the interpretive style of Joao Gilberto, they use an acoustic guitar and Wurlitzer as the main accompaniment. The emotional and lyrical terrain is rooted in questions that linger and tend to produce more questions. “Lonely Vermona” tells the true story of a mother leaving her daughter and escaping to West Germany in the trunk of a car, while “Kentucky” was inspired by an intrepid alley cat that lives the life of a prince on the rooftops of Crown Heights.
All songs were recorded in Brooklyn and tracked directly to the discarded tape deck. The sparse arrangements and hazy texture of the recordings echo the happenstance from which their partnership arose.
|Take Berlin, Yvonne (World)