It is 2020. Peyroux is speaking via Zoom, in the middle of a pandemic that has silenced all live music. In this stark context, Careless Love
continues to resonate, the music and the message of those songs more relevant than ever.
She repositions her laptop to reveal a poster she has kept from that evening in Vitoria in 2005. It’s a reproduction of a medieval etching of a building.
“This is El Portalon—a restaurant in a building from the 1500s that’s still standing there. We ate there after the show and they had amazing food. That whole evening is still with me. This concert represents a time when there was a confluence of great things happening in my life. It felt like all the work I had put into playing music for all those years was paying off. I was working with great musicians and had a great group of songs with great arrangements.
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am that we found this recording. For me, it represents the way I understood these songs at that time, how I was making music when I made Careless Love. It’s been more than fifteen years since that record came out, and I don’t think I’ve done a single concert that didn’t include at least two or three songs from it, and sometimes more. I think I’ve sung ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ at every show. It’s part of me now.”
2004…2005…the date stamp on any music performance can be a distracting thing. The more inspired and singular the music, the less that seems to matter. Timeless is what we call music that reaches the heart and stops the clock. Few are able to attain that, fewer with consistency. For the ones who do, it can take a while navigating one’s career path to get there, to make timeless happen. Madeleine Peyroux achieved it on her second album.