Music Review: Leonie Jakobi, Walk to West Berlin

Leonie Jakobi by Christian Stein

Introducing you to Leonie Jakobi, a German, Liverpool based singer-songwriter. On 31.07.20 Jakobi releases her second single, Walk to West Berlin, the follow up to February release Are You Lonely Enough? and it is a banger, as the kids might say.

Jakobi expertly tackles the issue of a divided nation/city by focusing on the story of two people in love and separated by circumstance. One imagines that this is a story that resonates with people across the world, and is a situation that Shakespeare devoted an entire play to, ‘You’ll have to hide me/ We can never let them find me.’ – such emotion.

Jakobi’s ‘pair of star-crossed lovers’ are inspired by her family’s roots in Berlin and the risks her grandmother would take as she smuggled items from West to East Berlin. Such is the inspiration of the grandmother; she also features on the single’s cover.

Leonie Jakobi – Walk to West Berlin Cover (hq)

The song’s video is a collaboration of sorts, with German film, Zwischen uns die Mauer (The Wall Between Us), directed by Norbert Lechner. Interestingly, Jakobi’s schoolfriend Lea Freund plays the lead and this is perhaps further evidence that barriers are falling; previously unheard stories are being revealed; and that for the next generation of artists, there is no holding back.

Leonie Jakobi by Paul Wills

I was fortunate to hear this track back in February at a small intimate event launching the inaugural issue of The Broken Spine Artist Collective where Jakobi and others, including Henrio and Micayl, provided music to accompany the poetry readings. At the time I was assured that the single would have the much fuller sound of a full band upon its release and it does. However, the folk elements are still there. Indeed, this track could be described as rock/folk pop. There is an immediacy and intimacy brought about by these folk features at the beginning and end of the piece which bookend a rousing climax akin to classic rock anthems. For such a young songwriter, this is an accomplished piece of work.

Jakobi presents us with bona fide integrity – a sure fire way to connect with listeners. She tells me that the mission in her music is to tell stories of the ages, and to hold a place in the heart of her listeners with a raw sense of merciless honesty – Walk to West Berlin does this in spades.

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