PREMIERE: Taught Abroad - Harmonizer

Laura Kerry

There’s a man in Chicago named Chris Sadek who has the magical ability to multiply himself. For the past four years, he has often taken the form of Taught Abroad, a band that combines electronic music with touches of pop, R&B, soul, and chillwave. But even as Taught Abroad, now a one-man act, Sadek seems to shape-shift and appear in multiple places at once. Throughout his latest EP, Harmonizer, his voice changes from an airy whisper to a high, soulful falsetto and a low, romantic incantation, all while his varied instrumental voices sweep in and out in a full sound.

In four songs, Taught Abroad morphs into different shapes using a palette of sultry synth washes, muted dance beats, emotive strings (he is a trained cellist), and an effortlessly expressive and beautiful voice. Harmonizer opens with “Pantyhouser,” an upbeat track with a danceable bass line and beat whose guitar riff and tone recall the summer jam perfection of Daft Punk and Pharrell’s “Get Lucky.”

After that comes “Harmonizer,” with its slow, simmering R&B feel, and “Tigerpussy,” a downtempo but beat-driven track with gorgeous, romantic vocals and a surge of strings. Harmonizer ends with “Spanks,” which starts with steel-drum synths and includes a satisfying beat drop before building towards a dramatic conclusion—adding several layers of vocals (other people or his own voice with effects) and electronic instruments, all of Sadek’s incarnations come together for a grand finale. And you can hear it all here first.