Sometimes a track has the ability to capture a feeling through the subtlest of details. Taught Abroad is the musical creation of Chicago multi-instrumentalist Chris Sadek, who plays and performs every instrument, vocal and sound in his music.
You need to keep listening. Because Lovely starts with a relatively minimal aesthetic - a slightly bruised sounding vocal, an almost-too-simply four-four beat, a touch of organ, some synths, but then something happens. The first couple of minutes feel loving, but not transcendent. And then, at two-minutes-and-twenty-seconds, it all changes. A touch of echo consumes the vocal, the instrumentation takes on a sense of weightlessness, and in doing so Lovely suddenly begins to feel less like a moment and a little more like forever. It’s a moment that reminds me of the similarly beautiful takeoff that gradually unfolds on Junior Boys’ Banana Ripple, one of my all time favourite songs.
That transcendent moment somehow creates a whole new feeling. In one moment, Sadek seemingly goes from being there, with us, to existing on a different plane. His love is no longer momentary and tied to a point in time - it’s scope feels expanded, omnipresent, endless and timeless. It’s the sound of a person telling you they will always love you, and you really believing it, of deriving security from that endless feeling. Chris goes from being a musician in a room to a feeling in the atmosphere. It’s impressive and touching and I can’t help but feel a little bit more love in the world when this sound exists... And whilst I wish the final two minutes of this record went on for longer, the beauty of music is that once it exists, it is almost impossible to lose. Just like the feeling Lovely evokes, the love captured by Taught Abroad here is now caught in amber, and it won’t ever leave us. Take some security from that.