Peeling things right back to the simplest version of his sound, Tondi Rams delivered an intimate acoustic performance to a thirteen-person audience at Young Rebel Recording Studio – an opportunity afforded by a fortuitous open mic night, and a lucky session recording win.
While his debut had been planned as a studio EP, this live set of his unreleased work serves a delightful snippet of just what Rams has to offer. And what might that be? A rivetingly authentic, narrative storytelling session, stripped back to the bare minimum.
Tales of the Heart is a collection of just those – interspersed with fleeting interludes which lend perspective and clarity to the whole thing. An intro sets the scene, preparing the audience for a set which will lay his heart on his sleeve – and he proceeds to do so with intricate care. “Lowest Point” and “Hold On” hinge on breaking points and building oneself up once again, bolstered by raw vocals and lilting guitar.
The first interlude separates the opening bars of hope and faith from the heartache of what is to come. “Selah” comes as a fresh palate cleanser, “Everything You Could Never Be” is weighted in romantic regret, and “The Journey of Our Love” finds solace in retrospect.
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Tying things up is an ode to the enduring love of generations gone by and while “Endless Love” may lean on lyrical simplicity it drives home the message of sticking it out through the rough times, a sentiment absconded by so many modern relationships – and Rams delivers a beautifully subtle debut, wrought in simplicity, steeped in candour.
Feature pic supplied by artist