Melbourne songwriter Tim Guy captures the insistence of a questing heart in his new single ‘The Rambler’. The latest track taken from Guy’s fifth album Chords, which Rolling Stone praised for “its rare lightness of touch”, the song is based on the stranger-than-fiction life of Guy’s own grandfather and arrives alongside a magnificent animated video from filmmaker Sam Mapplebeck.
Taking us from mountains to deserts and even further afield, ‘The Rambler’ locates a honeyed overlap of AM-radio twang and cosmic Americana that provides the perfect backdrop for Guy’s daydreaming croon. Stretching out like a cat easing into its tranquil patch of sunlight, the ballad applies generous swathes of horns, harmonies and more – ending with a heady whiff of slide guitar to send home that plaintive soul searching.
Featuring contributions from Gus Franklin (Architecture in Helsinki) and bassist/synth guru Shags Chamberlain (Ariel Pink, Lost Animal) plus string arrangements by Greg Walker, who penned the hugely popular theme song for the ABC hit Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Guy calls ‘The Rambler’ “an open letter” to his late grandfather – no stranger to family drama and world travels.
After his grandfather died, it came out that following two tours of World War II as a teenager, he had married another woman under a different surname before meeting Guy’s grandmother and going on to father four children with her. And he didn’t exactly settle down in his later years, as Guy tells it: “In the ’80s he was ostracised from most of the family due to his constant battle with alcohol, and he spent these years tap dancing in local cabaret shows”
Cut to tape with engineer Lukas Glickman (Pond, Pikelet) and mixed at the studio of Andy Stewart (Paul Kelly, Gotye), Chords has been described as “stunning” by Tone Deaf and “an open-hearted valentine to power-pop” by Rolling Stone. Mapplebeck’s stunning video for ‘The Rambler’ follows his clip for the album’s tender lead single ‘St Petersburg’, and it’s every bit as immersive.