CATE LE BON – ” Reward “

Posted: December 15, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Be it on her more minimalist, acoustic-leaning 2009 debut album Me Oh My or critically acclaimed, liquid-riffed 2013 LP Mug Museum as well as 2016’s Crab Day, Cate Le Bon’s solo work – and indeed also her production work, such as that carried out on recent Deerhunter album Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (2019) – has always resisted pigeonholing, walking the tightrope between krautrock aloofness and heartbreaking tenderness; deadpan served with a twinkle in the eye, a flick of the fringe and a lick of the Telecaster. The multifaceted nature of Le Bon’s art – its ability to take on multiple meanings and hold motivations which are not immediately obvious – is evident right down to the album’s very name, Reward. “Cate Le Bon writes songs in the absurdist tradition, as both as an escape and a mirror to the world. Her music is elliptical and sparse, using familiar sounds—chiming electric guitar, saxophone—to create her own alien landscape. ‘Daylight Matters’, the swooning first single from her new album Reward, isn’t so much a reinvention as it is a grand unveiling.”

The Welsh singer/songwriter/guitarist Cate Le Bon released a new album, Reward, this year via Mexican Summer. It was among our essential new releases . Now that the album is out, one of its best album tracks that wasn’t already released as a pre-release single, album opener “Miami.” Le Bon’s music is hard to define, she’s truly her own artist, and “Miami” is fantastic introduction to Reward.

Previously Le Bon shared Reward’s first single, “Daylight Matters,” as well as a video for “Daylight Matters.” Then she shared another new song from the album, “Home to You,” via a video for the track. Le Bon doesn’t feature in the video directed by Phil Collins (no, not that Phil Collins). It was filmed in Lunik IX neighborhood of Košice (Eastern Slovakia), which houses a Roma community who, as a press release states, “due to successive governmental and municipal policies, often live in slums and on isolated, dilapidated estates. Then she shared another song from the album, “The Light” .

In terms of her solo work, Reward is the follow-up to 2016’s Crab Day, although last year she also released Hippo Lite, her second album with DRINKS, a collaboration with Tim Presley of White Fence. 

Le Bon has spent a year living in isolation in the Lake District in the UK, by day making wood furniture and by night playing piano and writing songs. “There’s a strange romanticism to going a little bit crazy and playing the piano to yourself and singing into the night,” Le Bon said in a previous press release.

Of the album title, Le Bon said: “People hear the word ‘reward’ and they think that it’s a positive word, and to me it’s quite a sinister word in that it depends on the relationship between the giver and the receiver. I feel like it’s really indicative of the times we’re living in where words are used as slogans, and everything is slowly losing its meaning.”

The album features Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, H. Hawkline, and Samur Khouja. The latter co-produced Reward with Le Bon.

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