Formed in Vancouver, Canada in 2018 by frontman James Priestner and guitarist Lubo Ivan, Rare Americans have been creating a slanted world of their own. Dubbed Crooked City, it’s a place where you can unlock your mind, be creative, and challenge any and all ideas in a thought-provoking manner.
All of this started when self-described dumb luck struck brothers James and Jared Priestner on a trip to the Caribbean. They were joking around and eventually began writing songs together, and ultimately the early-days of Rare American were born. The brothers shared songwriting duties, and enlisted Ivan on guitar, and soon thereafter recruited bassist/engineer Jeff Quinn to round out the creative pursuits of the band. Ultimately, Jan Cajka and Duran Ritz joined to round out the band on backing vocals/guitar and drums, respectively.
Rare Americans have worked hard and has some well-deserved early success in their career thus far. Their Youtube page has nearly 250,000 subscribers, with more than 41 million views on the platform. Singles like “Hullabaloo,” “Brittle Bones Nicky,” “Milk Man,” “Ryan and Dave,” and “Cats, Dogs, and Rats” have showcased the band’s wide-ranging songwriting talents and astonishingly brilliant visuals.
Now, fresh off the heels of an appearance on the official soundtrack for Scoob! (“Back Up Plan“), Substream is excited to be teaming up with Rare Americans to exclusively debut their next single, “Berlin,” and it’s accompanying animated video. The video represents the latest chapter in their ongoing exploration of Crooked City, and does so along a fascinating song.
On the inspiration behind the track, the band tells Substream, “’Berlin’ tells the story of a forbidden love in post World War 2 Germany. “Berlin” actually started with the name of the female character, and from there we thought we could go deeper into this time period and bring a bit of history into it. To get specific, the main character Alfred works for the East German Secret Police and the relationship with his love, Anna Berlin, was forbidden. They try to escape to Budapest, but Alfred is caught and punished.”
“The video is quite factual and practically wrote itself after the song came to fruition. We researched this time period and came up with a plausible love story based on real events. We tease Crooked City with an intro. ‘Berlin’ is a simulated experience our characters go through, like a time portal. I can’t give too much away yet!! More to come,” Rare Americans tell Substream on how the video fits into their developed Crooked City universe.
Listen to the new single for yourself below.