Posts Tagged ‘Cate Le Bon’

Produced by long time friend Cate Le Bon, ‘Boy from Michigan’ is Grant’s most autobiographical and melodic work to date. Grant stopped being a boy in Michigan aged twelve, when his family moved to Denver, Colorado, shifting rust to bible belt, a further vantage point to watch collective dreams unravel. Across 12 tracks, Grant lays out his past for careful cross-examination. In a decade of making records by himself, he has playfully experimented with mood, texture and sound, all the better for actualizing the seriousness of his thoughts. At one end of his musical rainbow, he is the battle-scarred piano-man, at the other, a robust electronic auteur. ‘Boy from Michigan’ seamlessly marries both.

With Le Bon at the helm, Grant pared back his zingers, maximizing the emotional impact of the melodies. A clarinet forms the bedrock of a song. One pre-chorus feels lifted from vintage Human League. There is a saxophone solo. ‘Boy from Michigan’ ultimately swings between ambient and progressive, calm and livid. The album’s narrative journey opens with Grant at his artistic prettiest, three songs drawn from his pre-Denver life (the Michigan Trilogy, as Grant calls them): the title track, “The Rusty Bull,” and “County Fair.” Each draws the listener in to a specific sense of place, before untangling its significance with a rich cast-list of local characters, often symbolizing the uncultivated faith of childhood.

Elsewhere, tracks like “Mike and Julie” and “The Cruise Room” offer an affecting plunge deep into Grant’s late teenage years in Denver, while the midpoint of the album is highlighted by “Best in Me” and “Rhetorical Figure,” a pair of skittish, scholarly dance tunes that build on the lineage of Grant’s electropop heroes, Devo. Childhood as a horror narrative is the theme of “Dandy Star,” which observes a tiny Grant watching the Mia Farrow horror movie ‘See No Evil’ on an old family TV set, and finally on “The Only Baby” (released this January) Grant removes his razor blade from a pocket to cleanly slit the throat of Trump’s America, authoring a scathing epitaph to an era of acute national exposition.

Though he has lived in Iceland since 2011 – the same year he was also diagnosed HIV-positive – Grant spent his childhood and formative years in the US and maintains US citizenship. Growing up, Grant was subjected to a deeply ingrained hatred of anyone perceived as homosexual at school. Following the demise of his first band The Czars, Grant left music entirely for over five years, only to achieve greater success as a solo artist (his acclaimed 2015 solo LP ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’ went Top Five in the UK). Grant has sold out Royal Albert Hall, performed at Glastonbury, Latitude + more, and his song “Snug Snacks” was featured on Pitchfork’s ‘Songs That Define LGBTQ Price’. BBC Radio 6 host Mary Anne Hobbs described Grant’s music: “Most songwriting, even if it’s based on a true story … is embellished in some way. But John’s lyrics — they’re so true they might as well be written in blood.”

Taken from the album “Boy From Michigan” by John Grant, due for release 25th June 2021 via Bella Union and Partisan records

Beartree Records are hosting a discussion with John Grant when his new album ‘Boy From Michigan‘ is released. The event will be at The Abbeydale Picturehouse on Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, on 29th June.

John Grant will be in conversation with Richard Hawley, for around 1 hour. Following the talk, there will be an album signing with John. The event is very close to when ‘things get back to normal’, so as a precautionary measure, this event will be socially distanced, so hopefully all being well it can happen regardless. This means the capacity is very low, just over 100 seats available, so around 50 bundles, and will be fully seated in pairs.

We will happily ship albums, but we recommend if you want it signing to arrange collection from the shop (shipping delays can happen from time to time and are beyond our control). The album is released on the 25th June. 

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.

Bradford Cox Cate Le Bon

Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox and Cate Le Bon were artists in residence at 2018’s Marfa Myths festival, and the collaboration led to Cate co-producing the new Deerhunter album, “Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?.” That album came out earlier this year, followed a few months later by the new Cate Le Bon album Reward, and now Cate and Bradford Cox are releasing a collaborative EP for the Marfa Myths record series, Myths 004, on November 1st via Mexican Summer Records.

The songs for the EP were created and recorded from scratch over the course of a week at Marfa Myths. “Writing and recording in a week is a tall order – especially when such chemistry exists between all the musicians involved, and the possibilities are boundless,” Le Bon says. “We committed ourselves to embracing the chaos, surrendering to all moments and moods that travelled through. It’s a crude holiday scrapbook shared by all involved, an amalgamation of the changes in mood and light that shaped the days.”

The first single is the melancholic “Secretary” which details a humdrum life behind a desk and doesn’t seem miles away from the music Cate made on this year’s Reward, and includes some spoken word from Bradford. It’s cool stuff, as you can hear for yourself below.

The EP features contributions from Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo, Tim Presley of White Fence, and Samur Khouja. There’s also a new mini-documentary by Eli Welbourne, Have a Seat, which “[chronicles] Le Bon’s furniture building residency during Marfa Myths 2019″ and also features Bradford,

As sure as if it had been mapped in the stars, or written in a prophecy buried deep beneath the sands of the marfa desert, a collaboration between Cate le Bon and Bradford Cox was always something of an inevitability.

Fourth in Mexican Summer’s Myths ep series (and following previous tie-ups between Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, and Dungen and Woods), Myths 004 sees Cate le Bon and Bradford Cox–each a much-revered musical innovator in their own right–finally united. for both artists, Myths 004 signals a change of tack: meticulousness thrown to the wind as spontaneous, jammy tales of firemen and 5p plastic bags, unbrushed hair and shoelessness and makeup-daubed landscapes–all miraculously written and recorded in just one week– roll effortlessly off their cuffs. though this ep materialises after two individual 2019 album campaign.

Le Bon’s mercury nominated fifth album reward, and Cox’s eighth with his band Deerhunter, “Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?” (which Le Bon co-produced)–the chronologies are tangled: Myths 004 is in fact a snapshot of the pair’s very first meeting. after years of admiring each other’s work from afar, Cox and Le Bon finally converged on Marfa, Texas in 2018, at Mexican Summer’s annual Marfa myths music, visual art, and film festival.

“Marfa is an extraordinary town,” says Le Bon. “it feels like nothing else exists when you’re in it which is both comforting and unnerving.” in this otherworldly enclave, and with a band of frequent Cate le Bon co-conspirators on hand to putty the gaps with drums, saxophone, percussion, keys, and additional guitar (Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo, and Samur Khouja), the ep was assembled whiplash-quick. “writing and recording in a week is a tall order – especially when such chemistry exists between all the musicians involved, and the possibilities are boundless,” Le Bon explains. “we committed ourselves to embracing the chaos, surrendering to all moments and moods that travelled through. it’s a crude holiday scrapbook shared by all involved, an amalgamation of the changes in mood and light that shaped the days.” indeed, myths 004 is wondrous in its variety. on the opening song “Canto!”, Cox dons the illfitting leathers of an ageing biker and urges us to come ride with him, baby. he and Le Bon gaze into one another’s eyes with semi-serious sweetness as tough, wiry guitars stab through the romance. everything shrinks and softens on the ep’s sole single, the gently melancholic “Secretary,” as Le Bon and Cox spout verse over a mysterious percussive rhythm; perhaps made by miniature cymbals from a mantric parade.,

Cate and Deerhunter will also be on tour together in the UK in November ahead of their appearances at Le Guess Who? in the Netherlands,

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, hat and shoes

Welsh singer/songwriter/guitarist Cate Le Bon is releasing a new album, “Reward”, on May 24th via Mexican Summer. This week she shared another song from the album, “The Light.”

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.

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

Le Bon 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.

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and nature

It was only a few weeks back we were falling head-over-heels in love with “Daylight Matters”, the first single from Cate Le Bon’s upcoming album “Reward”, and this week Cate might just have gone and released an even better track! Reward’s second single, “Home To You”, is a stunning exploration of the idea of home, and how subjective a concept that can be.

Clocking in at nearly seven dreamy minutes, Home To You, is something of a low-key epic; the drums shuffle, the guitars pluck out easy runs and burbling, as the year’s finest bass-line adds much of the propulsion. Only the marimba like keys seem to step out of the dreamy gorgeousness, adding a gently tropical feel, like a cocktail umbrella adorned drink in a working men’s club. In its own subtle way, Home To You, is a reflection on the modern world, questioning how we are so quick to judge whether someone belongs, and where they should call home; “home to you, is atrocity in the town”.In that unique way she possesses, Cate seems to fuse her abstract lyricism into something moving and relatable. Without seeing the scene, you still feel the painting her words her create, instinctively you relate, instinctively you know this is the kind of song that can change your life.

“Reward” is out May 24th via Mexican Summer Records

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and nature

Cate Le Bon’s upcoming album, “Rewards”. was written in near solitude, Rewards was concocted by, “playing the piano to yourself and singing into the night”, resulting in a record that has been suggested might just be Cate’s most personal  to date.

The first evidence was presented this week in the shape of the frankly wonderful new single, Daylight Matters. The aforementioned piano is present throughout, yet almost slips into the background beneath pulses of synth and meandering guitar lines. The whole thing feels wonderfully close, almost to the point of claustrophobia, the lyrics laced with a question longing, where the repeated, “I love you”, is just a small part of a bigger story. There’s a particularly wonderful moment shortly before three minutes, where a multitude of Cate’s sing, “c’mon”, not in tight harmonies but in arresting, jarring contrast to one another, like you’re surrounded by multiple versions of her, each with their own interpretation of a moment. At once this feels like a bold next step, and a reminder of why Cate Le Bon’s music was already so special, now is the time to mark Rewards down as this year’s most anticipated new record.

Rewards is out May 24th via Mexican Summer.

For their sophomore LP as Drinks, Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley (a.k.a. White Fence) absconded to the South of France, holed up in an old stone house, and spent their days sleeping through the heat and recording come nightfall. Without distractions like Wi-Fi and civilization, the pair lived in their own little Shangri-La, and Hippo Lite, the album born of it, conveys the intimacy of two artists free to make whatever sounds they please. The insular nature of the recording process lends an honesty to the album, like children playing away from the watchful eyes of adults. And Hippo Lite is playful; “Real Outside” pairs household object percussion with tangy blurts of guitar, and “Greasing Up” sounds like a campfire lullaby. More than anything, Hippo Lite is a document of intimate creativity, of what happens when you can build a fort with someone you trust and live in shared merriment.

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Kevin Morby was a member of the Babies and Woods, he has had  these songs waiting around for about 5 years, especially check out the song “SLOW TRAIN” featuring Cate Le Bon on added vocals available on Woodsist Records.