“No” by Cale Chloupek | Sonata Sessions

[Editor’s Note: Sonata Sessions are produced independent of HearNebraska.org by Nickolai Hammar, and we’re proud to premiere them. Enjoy.]

* * *

The songwriter sits in the corner where purity and dilapidation huddle together.

A voice that sounds trained in choral vibrato soars upward above a crust of pink wallpaper toward stained and smeared drywall. Lyrics with a prime-of-life zest dribble out onto the warbling notes of a Goodwill guitar struggling to stay resonant and tuned. It’s an interesting sampling from Lincoln’s Cale Chloupek, who doesn’t play live and has no recordings available online.

The two distinct halves of Chloupek’s “No” play in slow and middle tempo, though both depend on a spare and aesthetically cracking kind of guitar playing: part one with picking so slow it seems like it may stop completely, and the second with a de-facto G-chord fingering sliding up and down the neck to produce an at-times atonal progression.

In this new Sonata Sessions, pretty things all have their shadow.