Produced over a Christmas period spent far away from family and friends, “Team” is the second single by Berlin-based producer and songwriter Sable. Chopped vocals and post-dub inspired beats flowed throughout her debut single “Maggie” earlier this year. Her sophomore effort, however, allows her songwriting to take the front seat.
“’Team’ is about the kind of love that makes you grateful for the pain that came before,” Sable said in a press release. “Lessons learned, hearts broken, everything that has built you into the person that you are … for me, that was a person finally capable of loving and trusting, without relying or needing. That time spent on my own at Christmas allowed me to really understand how far I’d leapt.”
Sable is originally from the UK but got trapped in Berlin by travel restrictions last year. “Team” was originally written six months prior to the holiday season, but drawing on her frustrations of the period, she re-recorded and produced the song in a week, wrought with a deeper emotional charge than before.
Musically, the track marries Sable’s senses of home (the UK) and place (Berlin) to gripping effect. Tender keys make for a melodic introduction to “Team” before Sable’s angular vocals add texture to a sombre sonic palate that tells of the pain she’s experienced: “I tried and failed / To keep myself away / Don’t wanna look in the mirror / And see your face.”
Its minimalistic beginnings point to the alternative sounds of the UK. But that all changes with the addition of a double-time drum beat at the chorus, infusing the track with an upbeat dose of Berlin club culture that mirrors the highs of love that Sable now feels capable of experiencing.
As “Team” draws to its conclusion, the tempo increases with four to the floor drums and infectiously danceable synth lines. The track’s transcendence from morose to moveable is testament to Sable’s cutting-edge production abilities and showcases how senses of physical place can be acutely embedded within songwriting processes.
A love-fueled dichotomy of highs and lows, “Team” is a cleverly written track from a producer and songwriter with deft talent.