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From New York City subways to the legendary Abbey Road Studios, Tara Hack has lifted her music from the subway platforms to the international stage. Her song “London Guard”, which opens her debut EP Dear Abbey, stays as close as a conversation but stylized like a cinematic exchange.

From the opening chords resonating into the silence, a stilled ambience sets in. The listener is the observer; Tara Hack, the narrator. Whatever follows is predetermined like two characters in a scene, yet we suspend disbelief hoping against the inevitable.

As the arpeggiated, staccato chords bounce off the acoustic guitar, the hollow surrounding intensifies. Even once the full orchestration enters, with swelling choruses of “oohs,” “ahs,” and select reinforced lyrics, there’s an emptiness where Tara’s clear vocals reveal this story. Not only is this lover “motionless like a London Guard,” but the audience is too.

The illusion of motion built into the guitar and vocal melody emphasizes the emotional implications of Tara Hack’s narrative. Despite knowing the ending, we’re invested. Will there be a better outcome?

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Stream “London Guard” and the rest of Dear Abbey EP below.

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