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Standout Track: “Speak Warmly,” a tender, neatly arranged folk song set to tick-tocking finger-picked guitars. Singer-songwriter May Tabol, formerly of indie-rock band Le Loup, takes on the voice of the ghost of a man peeking in on his still-living, shut-in wife. Apparently, he doesn’t like what he sees. “You’ve let the neighbors wander in/They’ve kept a hand in your affairs/And raised a glass to watch you swing,” sings Tabol with a light Southern accent.
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Musical Inspiration: The passing of Tabol’s grandmother provided the initial inspiration for the song. “I just tried to take the perspective that her husband would have had,” explains Tabol, a 25-year-old Columbia Heights resident. “You know, what he would have said to her about how she had been living her life, and whether that solitary existence was what he would have wanted from her.”
Folking Things Up: “Speak Warmly” didn’t start off so elegiac; it only got there through a long process of elimination. “Indie-pop/dance, that was the original feel,” explains Tabol. “It went through several different permutations. We took the tempo down significantly, threw in more folk instruments. We also tracked an electric guitar that wasn’t plugged in, so that it could have a ticking clock sound to it.” Lest you think Tabol was writing a club banger about sad old ladies, she adds that the song’s theme was tinkered with, as well. “I also changed the lyrics about three times,” she says.
Pree plays Thursday, March 19, at the Black Cat