There seems to be a constant debate in modern society regarding the current state of music; people quickly reference their favorite bands of yesteryear as examples of what music “should” sound like, before comparing them to such corporate creations as The Jonas Brothers, or One Direction. These people however, though passionate in their opinion, are misguided in their search for new quality music. And that’s just it; strong examples of quality music still exist, but are waiting to be discovered in this “internet kingdom” in which we currently reside. In this battle of current musical conditions, one dark poet from Panboyr, Wales is beginning to alter such opinions.
Cate Le Bon Creates Dark Poetry Laced With Folk on ‘Mug Museum’
Cate Le Bon creates the dark poetry of a woman who has had much time to think things through. Her often-gloomy lyricism reflects the thoughts and emotions most of us experience in our darkest moments, but are often unable to voice. Her low, haunting vocal style is reminiscent of the late Nico, sometimes bordering on that of Blondie’s lead lady Deborah Harry. Her album Mug Museum (released today) possesses a unique surf-rock sound combined with the styles of The Velvet Underground, creating an overtly mellow concoction of style that will most likely leave listeners confused about what year it is.
This couldn’t be more apparent than on the track “Are You With Me Now,” a post-punk/surf jam that sounds like it could have been a Lou Reed original. It’s hauntingly beautiful lyricism focuses on the idea of the acceptance of fate, as Le Bon purrs “I have no reason to run, I see no reason/Are you with me now.” Disguised by the songs summery sound and smile-inducing vibe, the serious themes may go unnoticed, despite her emotionally accurate words. Its uplifting instrumentation, mixed with the alto sounds of her voice, creates an enticing track that perfectly defines Le Bon’s music.
Perhaps the most beautiful track on the album, “I Think I Knew,” sees Seattle based indie popper Perfume Genius joining Le Bon behind the microphone. In this purely emotive breakup ballad, Le Bon’s vocals could stop listeners dead in their tracks, as she describes the broken feelings she has for an ex lover. “There’s no talking to him, his eyes are born from the stead and rapid water,” Le Bon cries, as the subtly funky bass line carries the song into its chorus. Perfume Genius offers listeners the male perspective of the relationship. He asks, “What did you want?” to which his female counterpart quickly replies “Everything.” The song’s worldly sound and raw vocals make a definite standout.
Mug Musuem sees Cate Le Bon finding her rhythm as a solo artist. Her third LP, and most polished album yet, is an enjoyable collaboration of upbeat, post-punk jams and low-key, heart-wrenching ballads that ultimately add to its overall diversity. Her music is incomparably different than the majority of today’s emerging artists, and her ability to create a familiar sound should allow her career to blossom upon her latest release.
Want to see Cate Le Bon live? Check Rukkus for tickets to a show near you.
Article by Adam Lalama