Stripping back the quiet synths and glistening guitars of last year’s self-titled EP, Kate Teague has crafted a gorgeously soft soundtrack to late-night yearning in ‘Play For Time’.
This track is intimate to its core. The acoustic guitar chords cut through with minimal production and a perfectly lo-fi gentle fuzz, Teague’s voice gliding over with breathy honesty in its minute cracks and waivers. Never straying from a place of pure vulnerability, it sounds as if Teague could be serenading us in real-time; indeed she said of the track “I initially intended for it to just be a demo, but afterwards I realized that I couldn’t imagine it recorded any different than this”.
It’s this straight-up intimacy that makes the song both instantly calming and heart-aching. Melodic hums intersperse the lyrics like lullabies, while the verses tackle that painful moment of, in Teague’s words, “trying to contain my urge of wanting to tell someone about my feelings for them, out of fear they may not feel the same way.” The bittersweet sentiment of this is poetically documented throughout (“I like the way we lie awake at night/can hear your windows shaking”) in a mellow, country-tinged voice reminiscent of Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker in its relaxed sincerity.
Released on 30th October, ‘Play For Time’ is the perfect heartfelt accompaniment to long evenings in bed, trying (and failing) not to daydream about your crush. A beautifully simple track with emotion at its heart, a guitar and a voice are all you need when they’re used as well as this.